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The International Magazine Exclusively For Drummers 

AUGilST/SEPTEMDER 1902 $2.25 



An MD Exclusive 




The Outlaws * * 

Mentally Preparing 
For Drumming 

The St^el iDfrums 
Of Trinida^ 

r * \ 


George Marsh 


Paulinho DaCosta 

Roy Haynes gives drumming 

all he’s got. 

From the minute Roy starts to play, his sound is strong, clean 
and powerful. That's why he trusts his playing only to 
Ludwig's unique 6-ply die-mold wood shell drums. 

Crafted to combine the forces of Roy's playing and Ludwig's impeccable design. Topped 
-by Ludwig Ensemble' 1 ' 1 drum heads —created for outstanding response and resonance—featur¬ 
ing Ludwig's patented Headlock™ system which permanently locks the drum head in place. 

When it comes to jazz drumming, Roy Haynes gives it 
all he's got. That's why he and Ludwig make such a 
powerful combo, 

Ludwig Industries 

1728 N. Damen Avenue, Chicago. IL 60647 


VOL. 6 NO. 6 

Cover Photo by David Gahr 






Although he would be the last person to 
admit it, Charlie Watts' no-nonsense 
drumming with the Rolling Stones has 
been a major influence in rock drumming 
for almost twenty years. Charlie talks 
about the drummers he admires, his phi¬ 
losophies about drumming, and his role in 
"The Greatest Rock and Roll Band In the 

by Robyn Flans. 8 


by Scott K. Fish and Max Weinberg .. 13 


As percussionist for Frank Zappa, Ed 
Mann is called upon to play virtually all 
types of music while using every possible 
percussion instrument. In this exclusive 
MD interview, Ed describes what is in¬ 
volved in maintaining the ability to play so 
many instruments, and offers a glimpse 
into the inner workings of one of the most 
unique bands in contemporary music, 
by Rick Mattingly. 14 



Part III: The Sixties 

by Scott K. Fish. 18 


by Jim Dearing..... 22 


When David Dix joined the Outlaws, he 
was added as the second drummer, a posi¬ 
tion he held until 1979, when he became 
the only drummer in the group. Here, Dix 
offers an interesting look at the difference 
between one-drummer and two-drummer 
bands, while describing his own involve¬ 
ment in music since his teens, 
by Scott K. Fish.. 26 


by Wyn Sargent.. . 30 





Exploring Self-Awareness 

by George Marsh. 34 


Whole Notes and Half Notes 

by Nick Forte .. 36 


Drum Books and Learning 

by Roy Burns. 40 


Paulinho Da Costa 

by Michael Rozek... 42 


Basic Chart Reading 

by Eliot Zigmund. 66 


John Hernandez 

by Susan Alexander.. 70 


Bass Drum Pedals II 

by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 72 


Rudiments—Inspiration For Innovators: 
Part II 

by Sal Sofia... 80 


Voicings for Mallets 

by David Samuels... 82 


"Louie Rides Again" 

by Skip Shaffer... 84 


Congas and Caribbean Percussion 
by John Amira .. 94 

ON TRACK -,- 96 



Getting The "Noise" Out Of Your Set 
by James E. Murphy. 100 


DRUM MARKET_ __ 106 

ASK A PRO... . . . 108 


by Robyn Flans... 112 


JUST DRUMS .... . 118 



I once wrote in this column on the importance of your involvement with 
everything MD has to offer each month. Taking that thought one step fur¬ 
ther, it is equally essential to continue that involvement well beyond the 
pages of MD. How does one get involved beyond the pages of the maga¬ 
zine? There are many ways. 

First, you should try to spend the time needed to work out the musical 
material presented to you each month. Many drum instructors tell us they 
use MD in their regular teaching practice. Taking MD out of the easy chair 
and into the practice room is only one form of healthy involvement. 

Let's assume you've completed reading an MD interview which was par¬ 
ticularly informative and inspiring. To end it at that certainly isn't very 
productive. Let that wave of inspiration motivate you to search out that 
artist's albums. Start listening. Make arrangements to attend a concert or 
club appearance in your area. If you have a particular question, write to 
the artist throughAskA Pro; or write direct. We'll forward your letter. 

Many of the people who write our educational columns have also written 
books, and they often appear on the clinic circuit. Again, make an effort to 
attend the clinic, and don't be afraid to spend a few dollars on a book writ¬ 
ten by someone who may have inspired you in the magazine. Familiarize 
yourself with what these people have to offer. No one is going to do it for 
you, so it's up to you to take the initiative. 

A similar approach can be applied to equipment investigation. Sure, we 
go to great lengths to supply objective product analysis, but don't just take 
our word for it. Get out there and see the products for yourself. Does a 
particular item seem like an honest improvement over what you're cur¬ 
rently using? Could it help you improve upon some aspect of your playing? 
If not, well, nothing lost. No one is going to twist your arm to buy it. On 
the other hand, it may turn out to be something that could open new doors, 
or stir you to explore an area of percussion you never even thought about 
before. You'll never find out sitting home looking at the pictures in the 
magazine. Write direct to the company if you can't get to a drum shop. 
They'll send you all the information you want. If a good shop is accessible, 
take full advantage of the opportunity you have for firsthand investiga¬ 

The point of all this is—don't get complacent. Don't assume you've 
picked up all the information you'll need this month from one issue of 
Modern Drummer. Rather, look upon each issue as the beginning of a new 
adventure. Use it as a springboard for further investigation and achieve¬ 
ment. Total involvement—it's the only way. 




Ronald Spagnardi 

Rick Mattingly 

Scott K. Fish 

Mark Hurley 
Paul Uldrich 
David Creamer 

Ipnt^ |W| oyyn 


Isabel Spagnardi 


Ann Thompson 

Carol Morales 
Leo L. Spagnardi 
Ellen Urry 
Robin De Paul 
Janet Gola 


Evelyn Urry 


Henry Adler, Carmine Appice, Horacee 
Arnold, Louie Bellson, Bill Bruford, Roy 
Burns, Jim Chapin, Billy Cobham, Les De 
Merle, Len DiMuzio, Charlie Donnelly, Saul 
Goodman, Danny Gottlieb, Sonny Igoe, 
Jaimoe Johanson, Jim Keltner, Don Lamond, 
Mel Lewis, Peter Magadini, Butch Miles, Joe 
Morello, Neil Peart, Charlie Perry, Charli Per- 
sip, Joe Pollard, Arthur Press, Paul Price, Paul 
Real, Paul T. Riddle, Ed Shaughnessy, Max 
Weinberg, Lenny White. 


Susan Alexander, Rich Baccaro, Robert Carr, 
Jim Dearing, Clint Dodd, Robyn Flans, Stanley 
Hall, Harold Howland, Dave Levine, Michael 
Rozek, Robin Tolleson, T. Bruce Wittet. 

MODERN DRUMMER Magazine (ISSN 0794- 
4533) ispublishedmonthly;April, May, June, 
July, October, November, December. Bi- 
Monthly; Feb/March, Aug/Sept, by Modern 
DrummerPublications,Inc., lOOOCliftonAve- 
nue, Clifton, N.J. 07013. Second Class Postage 
paid at Clifton, N.J. 07015 and at additional 
mailing offices. Copyrighted 1982 by Modern 
Reproduction without the permission of the 
publisher is prohibited. SUBSCRIPTIONS: 
$15.95peryear, $28.95, twoyears. Singlecopies 
$2.25. MANUSCRIPTS : Modern Drummer 
welcomes manuscripts, however, cannotas- 
be accompanied by aself-addressedstampeden- 
velope. CHANGE OF ADDRESS : Allow at 
oldandnewaddress. MUSIC DEALERS: Mod- 
ern Drummer is available for resale at bulk 
mer Publications, Inc., 1000 Clifton Avenue, 
Clifton, N.J. 07013. (201) 778-1700. POST¬ 
MASTER: SendAddress Changes to Modern 
Drummer, 1000 Clifton Avenue, Clifton, N.J. 





Bill Bru ford’s been it revolu¬ 
tionary force in drumming with 
some of the most adventurous hands 
rock music has seen. Yes. Genesis. 
King Crimson. U K. National Health 
... the list reads like a who’s who of 
progressive music. 

That’s why. when Bill decided 

to revolutionize his set. he chose 
the drums that revolutionized the 
industry TAMA! 

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No matter which island you choose, if there's a 
recording studio there, you’ll probably find AKG there too. 

That's because AKG products are used in virtually every 
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And their great sound, quality and durability make 
AKG products ideal for the road as well... Just ask The 
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take on the road are the AKG C-45Q modular system. The 
microphones of choice for The Oak Ridge Boys' vocals are 
the AKG D-300 Dynamic Series. But if you need a tough 
vocal condenser microphone, check out Marty Balin. He's 
using the new C-535. 

And whether it's the sensational D-12 on kickdrums, 
the D-125 on toms or the C-5B7 Condenser Lavalter 

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clip-on instrument microphone, AKG has the right 
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I especially enjoyed the article on Max 
Weinberg. I found it very inspiring to see 
someone admit to his faults and then have 
so much determination to correct them. 
After reading the article, I've gained more 
self-confidence and self-discipline which 
has tremendously helped my own playing. 
So may I express my heart felt thanks to 
Max Weinberg and Scott Fish for such a 
great article. 


I've had the pleasure of seeing Bruce 
Springsteen three times, and each time I've 
become more impressed with "Mighty" 
Max Weinberg's drumming. Your inter¬ 
view with Mr. Weinberg was very informa¬ 
tive. His dedication to his drumming, 
band, and family is truly remarkable. I 
think drummers who read the article 
learned much about what we do. Mr. 
Weinberg is an unselfish man, constantly 
learning about drumming. I admire that. I 
was wondering how I could correspond 
with Mr. Weinberg? 


Editor's Note: You can write to Max in 
care ofMD. We'llforwardyour letter. 

Your April '82 issue was definitely inter¬ 
esting. Being mainly a jazz drummer, I 
wasn't very well acquainted with Max 
Weinberg. His discussion on meter and 
time was great. It seems that a very impor¬ 
tant fundamental of music is finally being 
discussed openly without any ego trips be¬ 
hind it. 

I also found it rather odd that Michael 
Walden stated, "Steve Gadd spent hours 
and hours just with a metronome to find 
out what time was about. He had great 
technique but he needed to work on his 
timing." When did he do this? At age two? 
I was a student at Eastman School and had 
many discussions with John Beck about 
Steve. Mr. Beck would say that of all the 
things Steve had going for him, one of 
them was his remarkable sense of time. I'd 
go back and listen to tapes of the Jazz En¬ 
semble and other ensembles with Steve. 
Man ... it was there! Okay, it can always 
be better, but I feel Walden's statement 
was somewhat rash. Overall, I'm glad to 
see a very important topic being discussed. 



I enjoyed reading the article on Gina 
Schock of the Go-Go's. I'm a female 
drummer myself and have played for 
twelve years. I especially enjoyed reading 
how Gina got started on drums and how 
she practiced with headphones after 
school. I did the same thing! It's encourag¬ 
ing to hear about females in music as long 
as their heart is in it. There are some of us 
females out there who really love to play 



I thought that was a great article on 
Aynsley Dunbar. He's the best rock drum¬ 
mer in the business, due to his versatility 
and experience. Also, Aynsley has a good 
philosophy on keeping in good shape, 
since rock drumming is so physical in na¬ 



Thank you for the article on Alex 
Acuna. I really enjoyed it. I had the oppor¬ 
tunity of meeting Alex Acuna several 
months ago, and since then we've become 
good friends. He's been a true inspiration 
to my drumming career. In the future, I'll 
be studying with him. I'd just like to take 
this opportunity to thank him for all he's 



I couldn't let any more days go by with¬ 
out writing to tell you how excellent I 
thought "How To Publish Your Own 
Drum Book" was, and what a fine source 
of information it offers to anyone who has 
thoughts of publishing their own percus¬ 
sion music. I served as editor of the Percus¬ 
sive Arts Society publication Percussive 
Notes for seventeen years, before resigning 
two years ago. When MD first came out, I 
was skeptical that a magazine devoted only 
to drumset could be of interest and value to 
the serious percussionist. But, now I rec¬ 
ommend it highly to all of my percussion stu¬ 
dents at The Ohio State University. 




Thank you for the article "Stretching 
Your Technique." I've been trying these 
exercises and they're really working! I've 
noticed an increase in my flexibility and en¬ 


As long as there's inspiration such as 
presented by Narada Michael Walden's in¬ 
terview, the world will be a better place for 
drummers, musicians, and all humanity. 
He leaves you feeling that there will always 
be room to grow. I would like to find out 
more about the school that was men¬ 

Editor's Note: For information on Nara¬ 
da's school, write to him in care of Gregg 
Digiovine, P. O. Box 690, San Francisco, 
CA 94101. 


In September of '81 I was in a bad car 
accident and lost a close friend. While in 
the hospital, I met a man who had just be¬ 
gun to teach drums. Through him I ac¬ 
quired MD. Reading it, I realized the 
drums as an art and science. I sat down and 
carefully ordered study material from the 
Drum Market section of your magazine. 
All the books and cassettes are fantastic. 
I'm practicing eight to ten hours a day and 
showing great results. I can't ever thank 
you enough. I've finally found myself in 
drums. I guess in a way I had to let you 
know how much you changed my life. 



I'm puzzled by a letter in the May issue 
of MD. Why look down on drummers with 
large drum kits? Just because a drummer 
plays on a small drum kit doesn't mean 
he's more creative. There have been just as 
many poor drummers who play small sets 
as larger sets. It's what the individual does 
with what he has . . . which is not neces¬ 
sarily tangent to the quantity of drums and 






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Editor's note: The following articles on 
Charlie Watts are the result of over two 
year's worth of effort on the part ofMD. 
There were numerous phone calls to record 
companies and management offices, 
where the answer was always the same: 
"Charlie Watts does not do interviews." 

Last fall, while the Rolling Stones were 
on tour in America, Charlie met up with 
his friend (and MD Advisory Board mem¬ 
ber) Jim Keltner, who persuaded Charlie 
to talk to us. (Thanks, Jim) He agreed to 
speak with MD's Robyn Flans in L. A., but 
it was only after Robyn followed him to 
San Francisco that he finally sat down in 
front of a tape recorder. 

A month later, MD Managing Editor 
Scott K. Fish set up a meeting with Charlie 
and E Street Band drummer Max Wein¬ 
berg. Again, Charlie agreed to let a tape 
roll. So here then is Charlie Watts who, 
although he actually spoke to us twice, 
began each session by saying, "Idon't do 
interviews. But we can talk if you want 

by Robyn Flans 

After spending six hours with Charlie 
Watts, it was clear that he just doesn't rel¬ 
ish speaking about himself. I quickly real¬ 
ized that it would be necessary for me to 
turn to history books and others' accounts 
to fill in the blanks that Charlie takes little 
pleasure in recalling. 

Everyone who has written about the 
Rolling Stones, from journalists to the 
Stones' own personal aids and cooks, has 
very little to say about him. This is not 
because Charlie is nondescript, but rather 
because he lives a very quiet life while off 
tour, keeps to himself and his family (his 
wife Shirley of seventeen years and their 
daughter) and does not partake in the 
much publicized activities of a "rock 

"I probably was a typical musician, but 
I wasn't, and am still not, a Rolling Stone. 
I mean, I am because that's what I do, but 
the other stuff is bullshit. I don't know 
what the Rolling Stones are. For that you 
should talk to someone else other than me. 
I don't know what they are. To me, they're 
friends of mine. They are whatever you've 
read and they're worse and they're better. I 
never read the bullshit in the papers and I 
don't have to hide in hotel rooms. I used to 
do that and I hated it. The worst time in my 
life was about the time the Rolling Stones 
became like the Beatles, I suppose. There 
were girls screaming and carrying on and I 
couldn't stand it because I thought it was 
silly. I loved it for what it meant and what 
the band was doing, but I couldn't stand 
not being able to do anything. I hated that. 
That doesn't mean anything and I never 
wanted that. I'm just not interested in that. 
The only time I love attention is when I 
walk on stage, but when I walk off, I don't 
want it. For the band, I want everyone to 
love us and go crazy, but when I walk off, I 
don't want it. I guess I want both worlds. I 

never could deal with it and I still can't. I 
don't know how Mick does it. He's an 
incredible man. So is Keith—an amazing 
guy. I don't know how they do it, I'm seri¬ 
ous. Fike doing so many interviews. This is 
the only time I've so much as spoken to a 
journalist this whole tour and the reason 
I'm doing this is because drumming is 
something that I love." 

He refuses to acknowledge his own 
musical contributions, continually down¬ 
playing his abilities. In an interview with 
Rolling Stone (11/12/81) Keith Richards 
says, "I'm continually thankful—and 
more so as we go along—that we have 
Charlie Watts sittin' there, you know? 
He's the guy who doesn't believe it, 
because he's like that. There's nothing 
forced about Charlie, least of all his mod¬ 
esty. It's totally real. He cannot under¬ 
stand what people see in his drumming." 

Whether Charlie understands it or not, 
the fact remains that he is often considered 
the model of what a rock drummer should 
be. Pick up a copy of The Village Voice, 
for instance, and look in the back where 
bands advertise for musicians. Invariably 
there will be a couple of ads that say some¬ 
thing like: "Charlie Watts-style drummer 
wanted for rock group." Journey drum¬ 
mer Steve Smith had this to offer about 
Charlie's drumming: "When I first lis¬ 
tened to Charlie Watts as a kid, I didn't 
hear a whole lot there. It was because I was 
really unaware of what he was really great 
at, which is just an incredible feel. Now, I 
love the way he plays, especially after see¬ 
ing him and doing those gigs with them. 
His time is really steady and really solid 
and his feel is the nastiest rock and roll feel 
I've ever heard. As a kid, I was totally into 
chops and I didn't appreciate just a simple 
feel. I was impressed by the flash, and I 
wasn't listening deeply enough. Now I 
have a totally different attitude. The bot¬ 
tom line is how it feels and what you can 
get across, emotionally." 

Charlie disputes that he has his own style 
or that there is anything special about what 
he does. "They (the Stones) developed it 
for me," he told me. "I play as well as I 
can with this band and they happen to be 
very popular. But anyone can play like I 
do, yet that's what I love about it in a way. 
Anyone can do it, really. Maybe they can't 
do it the way I do it and it is no big deal to 
do it, but not anyone can play like Max 
Roach. You can't play like Joe Morello. 
Not many people can play like that guy and 
there aren't many people who can play like 
Jake Hanna. There are very few people in 
the world who can play that good. There 
are very few people in this world who can 
play like Louis Bellson. But there are a mil¬ 
lion kids who can play like me. They're not 
me doing it, but they can play like it. I can 
play like A1 Jackson, but I'm not him 
doing it. But to play like Joe Morello is 
something else. There aren't many people 
who can play 5/8 time and 16/4 and all 


Photo by Paul Natkin 


that, and I mean ,play it. There are a lot of 
people who can play like A1 Jackson, but 
they're not A1 Jackson and never, ever will 
be. They'll never be as good as he is, but 
they can actually play those things. I think 
A1 Jackson is as great as all those people 
I've mentioned, but what I'm saying is that 
he taught people how to play those things. 
I've heard girls play exactly like me and 
they can play everything. They're not me, 
but they can play everything. There are 
very few people in this world who can do 
what I'm talking about. You see, the audi¬ 
ence doesn't really want to hear me play 
'Honky Tonk Woman.' They want to hear 
the song, primarily, with me doing it, 
because the song is more important than 

Jeff Porcaro responded: "No. Wrong. 
Not anybody can do what he does. I know 
if I sat down and played with the Stones, I 
would be trying to play like Charlie Watts. 
I know myself as a professional drummer 
and I would sit down and say, 'Okay, now 
play simple here, be sparse and don't do 
that fancy fill because Charlie wouldn't do 
that.' But my snare drum wouldn't sound 
like Charlie's because that's a whole other 
unique sound. 

"I think Charlie Watts is a great drum¬ 
mer for pretty basic reasons. I like his time, 
I like his groove and I love what he plays 
with the Stones. When you look at Charlie 
and what he plays, it seems like some of 
those technical facilities that he doesn't 
have, makes for the sparseness that he cre¬ 
ates when he plays and that you hear. 
There are no rules or anything and nobody 
plays like him but him." 

So how did Charlie become involved 
with drums to begin with? "Blame it on 
Chico Hamilton, I suppose. When I was 
twelve, I heard Chico Hamilton with Gerry 
Mulligan playing 'Walking Shoes' and I 
played it on a skin of a banjo. I used to play 
brushes like Chico Hamilton. Well, not 
like him, but that was the inspiration any¬ 

way. After that, I heard Charlie Parker 
and that was it. It was all over. It was the 
music really, that got me going, because 
I'm not a drummer. I'm not a drummer 
because I never learned to play the drums. 
I'm not like the people I admire. They 
learned and I never did. I just sat and 
played drums like they played them. Max 
Roach can play anything and I sat and cop¬ 
ied it. When I heard Charlie Parker play, 
I would play like Max Roach or Roy 

Charlie was so enamored of Charlie 
Parker that in 1962 he wrote a book called 
Ode to a High Flying Bird, which was in 
the vein of a children's book and illus¬ 
trated by Watts. It featured Parker as an 
actual bird hunched over a saxophone so 
that the body blended into the head. 
Unfortunately, the book was never issued 
in theU.S.. 

"When I had the honor to go to New 
York, that was it! All I wanted to do was 
go to Birdland and I was lucky enough to 
get there before it closed and that was it for 
me. I still walk down 52nd Street. I know 
it's not the same anymore, but I do it. It's 
just something that really meant some¬ 
thing to me as a kid, listening to Charlie 
Parker, and to think that he lived there and 
walked down that street and played there. I 
walk there, even now, at forty years of age. 
I can imagine being Sid Catlett, walking 
down that street with the drums on my 
arm, but it's just a dream world. But it's a 
dream world that I love, and if I ever lose 
it, I'll stop playing drums. 

"Among my favorite drummers is Dave 
Tough. Nobody knows how great he was. 
There's a lot of people I admire and they 
are what I try to be, but I'll never be that 
good. In my life, I'll never be that good 
because I'm not that good. Tony Williams 
is one of my favorite drummers. That's 
how someone should look when he plays 
the drums. He is a fine looking man and a 
fine looking drummer. He is one of the 

innovators as far as I'm concerned. To do 
what he did at the age of nineteen, he must 
be somewhere else. To me, some of the fin¬ 
est drumming came from Jerry Allison 
[one of Buddy Holly's Crickets]. He is one 
of the finest drummers and very under¬ 
rated. He plays songs; he doesn't play the 
drums, and that's what I'd love to do. I 
can't do that, though, because I've got 
Max Roach, who is a drummer, inside of 
me. Yet I'll never be Max Roach and I'll 
never be Jerry Allison. Jim Keltner, for 
instance, can play the drums. Jim can read 
and he's a fine musician. I'm not a fine 
musician. I play the way I do and I happen 
to be lucky enough to be in a band that is 
very popular, and that's all. If I wasn't 
with a popular band, I'd be one of a mil¬ 
lion kids out there." 

Jim Keltner disputes this: "Most drum¬ 
mers, including Charlie, feel guilty when 
they don't read music, and they feel that 
they're not real musicians. Charlie is one 
of my favorite drummers because of his 
simplicity, his sound and his time feel. The 
thing is, that Charlie is playing with virtual 
brothers, and it becomes second nature. 
He doesn't know what he does. But he 
doesn't have to know what he does. 

" If you listen to the old records, particu¬ 
larly, you hear rushing and dragging and 
you hear him play a fill and it just barely 
makes it. When you talk about a drummer 
and you say those two things about him, 
right away you think, 'Wait a minute— 
that's wrong.' A drummer is about time 
and about playing with taste and fills and 
all that, and that's what the civilized musi¬ 
cal world expects from you. With Charlie, 
he's always broken those rules, but he's 
done it innocently and also with a magic 
band, and it works. He's had a chance to 
refine that up to the point where the last 
couple of records, it's just pure, out and 
out, great rock and roll drumming." 

"Drumming, to me, has always been 
fun," Charlie explains. "That's why I 



couldn't play with Doc Severinsen and the 
Tonight Show Band. I couldn't do that 
gig. I couldn't cover that gig and not read. 
It was always fun to me, sort of a hobby. It 
wasn't really a hobby, but something I 
loved and it still is a lot of fun. It's become 
something I love, more than when I was a 
kid, really. I was sort of dragged into it 
because it was fun and I was able to play 
for a living." 

In The Rolling Stones—The First 
Twenty Years, his mother recalled, "Char¬ 
lie always wanted a drum set, and he used 
to rap out tunes on the table with pieces of 
wood or a knife and fork. We bought him 
his first drum set for Christmas when he 
was fourteen. He took to it straight away, 
and often he used to play jazz records and 
join in on his drums." 

"I was just a teenager when I first got 
interested in drums," Charlie said in the 
same book by David Dalton. "My first kit 
was made up of bits and pieces. Dad 
bought it for me and I suppose it cost 
about twelve pounds. Can't remember 
anything that gave me greater pleasure and 
I must say the neighbors were great about 
the noise I kicked up. They had a sort of 
tolerant understanding . . . 'Boys will be 
boys' kind of thing! I don't think I ever 
wanted to play any other instrument 
instead of the drums. I marvel sometimes 
even now at the way guitarists can get such 
tricky little phrases by just quietly using 
their fingers, but drums are for me." 

Seated with me, he recalled, "I practiced 
a lot but I never had lessons. I hated play¬ 
ing to records. I used to try, but I could 
never really play to records. I can't over¬ 
dub drums either. I hate doing that. Some¬ 
times you have to, but I can't do it very 
well. I taught myself by listening to other 
people and watching. I'd go and see every 
American who came to England. To me, 
how an American plays the drums is how 
you should play the drums. That's how I 
play. I mean, I play regular snare drum, I 
don't play tympani style, although I know 
guys who play fantastically like that. I play 
march-drum style. Most rock drummers 
play like Ringo; a bastard version of tym¬ 
pani style. In reality, that's what it is 
because tympani style is fingers and most 
rock drummers play like that because it's 
heavy offbeat." 

In Dalton's book, Charlie reminisced: 
"Alexis Korner and Cyril Davies were the 
start of rhythm and blues in this country 
(England). If things were as they should 
be, Alexis would be right at the top. I met 

Alexis in a club somewhere and he asked 
me if I'd play drums for him. A friend of 
mine, Andy Webb, said I should join the 
band, but I had to go to Denmark to work 
in design, so I sort of lost touch with 
things. While I was away, Alexis formed 
his band, and came back to England with 
Andy. I joined the band with Cyril Davies 
and Andy used to sing with us. We had 
some great guys in the band, like Jack 
Bruce. These guys knew what they were 
doing. We were playing at a club in Ealing 
and they (Brian, Keith and Mick) used to 
come along and sometimes sit in. It was a 
lot different then. People used to come up 
on the stand and have a go, and the whole 
thing was great." 

How did he become a member of the 
Rolling Stones in 1963, I asked. "Pure 
accident," he replied. "There were many 
bands in London and I happened to be free 
at the time I joined them. That's my opin¬ 
ion. Other people have another. I played 
with Mick and Keith when I played with 
Alexis and everybody knew each other. 
Alexis wanted a sort of Charlie Mingus 
r&b band and he's still the same. I love 
him. He never stops moving. Marvelous 
man. But I had played with Alexis for 
about a year or nine months and then gave 
up my chair to Ginger [Baker] because I 
thought he was a better drummer than I 
was. I played with three other bands and I 
was asked to join Mick and them. I've 
lived with them ever since, for twenty 
years. I was between jobs as a designer and 
I used to leave their apartment and go for 
interviews while I played with them. I did 
that for about six months. Then, all of a 

sudden, I made more money doing that 
than I could make being a designer and 
suddenly I became a profesional musician, 
whatever that is. I'm still not, in my opin¬ 
ion, but I had to join the Union suddenly." 

In Our Own Story by the Rolling Stones, 
a book published in 1965, Watts had elab¬ 
orated on the subject: "The scene was 
growing bigger week by week for Alexis. I 
loved the work, but it got to be too much of 
a strain after a while. So I sort of backed 
out and worked with one or two other 
groups, meeting up with Brian and Mick 
and Keith from time to time. 

"So they asked me about kicking in with 
them. Honestly, I thought they were mad. 
I mean they were working a lot of dates 
without getting paid or even worrying 
about it. And there was me, earning a 
pretty comfortable living, which obviously 
was going to nosedive if I got involved with 
the Stones. It made me laugh to think of 
them trying to get me in with them too. 

"But I got to thinking about it. I liked 
their spirit and I was getting very involved 
with rhythm 'n' blues. I figured it would be 
a bit of an experiment for me and a bit of a 
challenge, too. So I said okay, yes, I'd 
join. Lots of my friends thought I had 
gone stark raving mad. 

"See, the thing with me is that I'm not 
really much of a worrier. I do get involved 
on stage, of course, especially when I think 
something is going wrong, but that's all. I 
reckon tomorrow can look after itself. 

"Only thing that had me wondering, 
once I'd made up my mind, was the fact 
that the Stones were so disliked inside the 
jazz world. I'd heard people talking about 



Photo by David Gahr 

Photo by DAsk avid Gahr 

THEM ." 

them—and it's true to say nobody had a 
good word for them. They were complete 
outsiders. Nobody wanted to know about 
the great sound they were making— 
because everybody was too busy looking 
on them as just a gang of long-haired 
freaks. And I certainly wasn't keen on let¬ 
ting my own hair grow at that time just for 
the sake of being a member of the group. 

"But this bunch of outsiders, what peo¬ 
ple called 'lay-abouts,' struck me as having 
a pretty good future. I thought the atmos¬ 
phere they got going simply had to make it 
big one day ..." 

Of course, Mick and Keith go back to 
childhood. The story is that they met on a 
train on the way to school in 1960 after not 
having seen one another since they were 
kids. Under Mick's arm was an album by 
Chuck Berry, which sparked a stimulating 
conversation. Finding they possessed simi¬ 
lar musical tastes, they began to experi¬ 
ment together. It was 1962 when they 
began to frequent the club in Ealing where 
they came across Brian and Charlie. Brian, 
more into jazz-blues than the Chicago 
blues that Mick and Keith favored, joined 
forces with them. 

In an interview with Bob Greenfield in 
1971, Keith said, "I'll tell you how we 
picked Charlie up. The R&B thing started 
to blossom and we found Charlie playing 
on the bill with us in a club. There were two 
bands on; Charlie was in the other band. 
We did our set and Charlie was knocked 
out by it. 'You're great, man,' he 
says . . . We said, 'Charlie, we can't 
afford you, man.' Because Charlie had a 
job and just wanted to do weekend gigs. 

Charlie used to play anything then—he'd 
play pubs, anything, just to play, cause he 
loves to play with good people. But he 
always had to do it for economic reasons. 
By this time we're getting three, four gigs a 
week. 'Well, we can't pay you as much as 
that band but ..." We said. So he said 
okay and told the other band: 'I'm gonna 
play with these guys.' That was it. When 
we got Charlie, that really made it for us." 

In those days, the Stones were basically 
a rhythm and blues group, and their mate¬ 
rial was made up mostly of songs by such 
artists as Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters and 
Bo Diddley. Their first English single was 
Chuck Berry's "Come On," and their first 
single to do well on the American charts 
was Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away." 
The Stones' first album was made up of a 
lot of the standard r&b favorites of the 
day, with only a few original composi¬ 

"The Last Time" was the first original 
Stones song to be released as the A side of a 
single. This was followed by "Satisfac¬ 
tion" and "Get Off Of My Cloud," also 
written by Jagger and Richards. These 
songs established the pattern for the 
Stones' style—they were written around a 
basic, simple riff. 

One of the secrets to being a successful 
member of a group is to concentrate not on 
yourself, but on the requirements of the 
music. An often-heard comment about 
Charlie Watts is that: "He is the perfect 
drummer for the Rolling Stones." After 
observing the characteristic structure of 
Stones' songs, it became obvious how 
Charlie's drumming complements the 

music. If a song is based on a simple, 
repeating riff, the drum part must be 
equally simple and repetitive. Busy pat¬ 
terns, fills, and subtle colorings are not 
appropriate. Indeed, there is nothing sub¬ 
tle about the Stones. Their power comes 
from their directness—basic chord pro¬ 
gressions, basic rhythms, and even basic 
lyrics. Charlie provides basic drumming. 

As the Sixties progressed, the Stones' 
music gradually shifted from the r&b 
influence towards a more pop sound, with 
tunes such as "Lady Jane" and "As Tears 
Go By" finding their way onto albums. 
The group even experimented with "psy¬ 
chedelic" music, producing a rather 
unmemorable album called Their Satanic 
Majesties Request. 

Beggars Banquet, in late 1968, marked 
the return of the r&b influenced Stones. 
Since that time, the band has stayed pretty 
close to its roots, although there have been 
other influences. One important change 
occured in 1969 when Mick Taylor 
replaced Brian Jones as guitarist. Taylor 
had a clean, jazz-influenced style which 
contrasted well with Richards' raunchy 
rock sound. The difference is very obvious 
on "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" from 
the Sticky Fingers album. The tune starts 
off with Keith Richards ripping off a few 
raw rock licks, before settling into the 
tune's main riff. Charlie plays basic, driv¬ 
ing rock. The second half of the song turns 
into a jazz jam with a saxophone solo, fol¬ 
lowed by a Taylor guitar solo. Charlie 
accordingly turns into a cross between 
Tony Williams and Mel Lewis—maintain- 

continued on page 46 



A Conversation With Charlie Watts 

by Scott K. Fish 

& Max Weinberg 

SF: How much did the Chess blues records 
influence you when you were growing up? 
CW: I never heard them until I met Keith 
and Mick. My whole block used to listen to 
Savoy jazz records as kids. I never used to 
listen to Elvis Presley or anything. It's only 
through meeting Mick and Keith, really, 
that I got interested in things like that. The 
only person I suppose I really loved a lot 
was Fats Domino. 

SF: Was it a tough transition to switch 
from wanting to play jazz to actually play¬ 
ing in a rock band? 

CW: No. It's really the same thing isn't it? 
You need better technique than I have to 
play jazz, but what you have to do is the 
same thing, isn't it? 

SF: What do you see as the difference 
between a rock rhythm section and a jazz 
rhythm section? 

CW: None. It's either very precise or it 
swings a lot. There is no difference. What 
is jazz? Originally it was primarily dance 
music. Goodjazz, even though it's an exer¬ 
cise for an instrumentalist—you can still 
dance to it in a way. 

SF: Even a group like the Coltrane Quar¬ 

CW: Yeah. When it's really going, it 
swings. It's as loud as a rock and roll band. 
I don't see any difference between John 
Coltrane and Chuck Berry except that one 
writes lyrics. But, they do the same thing to 
me. I know the difference; that you need to 
be an innovator to play like Coltrane. But, 
Chuck Berry was an innovator as well. So, 
there's not a lot of difference except they 
sound different. Rock and roll is dance 
music and that's really what jazz is like. 
MW: Did you ever purposely work on 
drum technique? 

CW: Yeah, I practiced rudiments. I've 
always done those but I work harder at it 
now than I used to when I first started to 
play. I used to just sit there and think I was 
Kenny Clarke or something. When I was a 
kid I never learned to play. I actually got in 
bands through watching people play and 
copying them. 

MW: Did you listen to records? 

CW: Yeah, but it's not the right way of 
learning. I think that people like Steve 
Gadd and Jeff Porcaro—those people 
have got it all, somehow. I mean, no one 
person's got it all, thank goodness, other¬ 
wise we'd all be as one! But, guys like 
that—they can do anything—and I can't 
really do anything because I don't have the 
natural ability. Half of it is being born with 
that. Of course, eighty percent is work. 
But, you have to be born with that little bit 
that makes you an Earl Palmer. You can't 
learn that, really. You can watch them 
play, but you can't really learn to ride a 
cymbal like Billy Higgins. You're not him! 
That's something that I think is just in you. 
MW: It's got to be there to begin with. I 
constantly watch Buddy Rich and can't 
believe the way he plays. Does that stuff 
blow your mind? 

CW: Oh yeah. He's an incredible man, 
isn't he? The history of that guy is amaz¬ 
ing. Some of the records he played on are 
just remarkable; some of the Verve records 
with Charlie Parker. I mean, some of the 
introductions he plays are sort of ridicu¬ 
lous, really, and he's only using two 
drums! That's not all he's got, but he just 
uses two. The placement of his notes! The 
timing of it then and there was just stagger¬ 
ing. I just listen to Buddy's music. I can't 
copy that. I think you get to a point where 
you watch something just to enjoy it. I 
don't think it's really done so that you're 

supposed to feel, "Oh, he's the most won¬ 
derful drummer." I think the whole lot is 
what's more enjoyable. 

MW: Plus the way it moves you. 

CW: I saw A1 Foster with Miles Davis the 
other week. It was beautiful. But, the 
whole thing was, you know? A1 Foster 
played as well as everybody else, but all of 
them were quite brilliant under Miles 
Davis' direction. It's amazing. When it all 
works at once—that's when it's great. 

I suppose "technique" is when you can 
turn the music a little bit to make it stagger¬ 
ing, like what I was saying about Buddy 
Rich. He just does a little thing and after 
that he just swings! Then he'll punctuate a 
brass line with one hand and it's all over 
the place—the music—but he's playing 
every note. He'll carry on with these bits 
and I go, "Whaa-at?" I've seen Buddy 
Rich play lots of times but I've never met 
him. He goes to England quite a bit. 

MW: I think jazz acceptance has always 
been better in Europe. 

SF: Have you ever seen Max Roach play? 
CW: I saw him at Carnegie Hall with his 
band and McCoy Tyner's band. Max plays 
nothing like I thought he played. He's 
incredible. He started up with this waltz 
thing which is quite incredible to watch. It 
was all "time." It was lovely. Sort of a var¬ 
iation on "The Drum Also Waltzes." He 
just starts off playing "boom dit, boom 
dit." And he builds that up. Quite bril¬ 
liant. To watch him play with a band is 
fantastic. The band with Clifford Brown 
was amazing. 

MW: Do you think it's easy to do what you 

CW: I never thought what I do is anything 
exceptional. It's basically what you're 
playing to, really. A1 Jackson was proba- 

cunttnui'tl tm pufie 50 

Photo by David Gahr 



Photo by John Livzey 

by Rick Mattingly 

What exactly is a "percussionist” any¬ 
way ? It sounds rather imposing. To a lot of 
people, a percussionist is someone who 
plays in a symphony orchestra. To others, 
the term suggests someone who plays a 
variety of Latin instruments. Still others 
consider "percussionist" to be a snobbish 
way to say "drummer. "People do gener¬ 
ally agree that it has something to do with 
hitting things, but to many people, the 
exact function of a percussionist remains 
rather vague. Often, in fact, percussion is 
considered merely as something "extra." 

Ed Mann originally became a percus¬ 
sionist because he found it limiting to just 
play one instrument. This same idea of not 
being limited to any single thing applies to 

Ed's function in Frank Zappa's band: Ed 
does it all. Sometimes he plays melody; 
sometimes harmony; sometimes rhythm. 
Sometimes he plays complex passages that 
would challenge any symphony musician; 
sometimes he blows duck calls. Sometimes 
he supports, reinforces and colors what the 
other musicians are playing; sometimes his 
part is the main thing. Always he is appro¬ 
priate to the situation. 

RM How did you get involved with so 
many different instruments? 

EM: I started out as a drummer. When I 
was a kid, I was studying with a guy named 
Richie LePore in Hartford, Connecticut. 
He suggested that I take it one step further 
and take up the mallet instruments as well. 
So I did that to try and extend myself. 

After a year with Richie, I went to the 
Hartt College of Music, where I studied 
with A1 Lepak, who is a true master of per¬ 
cussion playing, composition, and instruc¬ 
tion. He expanded the range of my studies 
to include all of the orchestral percussion 
instruments, and introduced me to percus¬ 
sion ensemble and multi-percussion play¬ 
ing. That's when I really developed a solid 
foundation as a multi-percussionist. 

In 1973, I moved to California and 
began studying with John Bergamo at the 
California Institute of the Arts. At that 
time, Cal. Arts was still very young and 
there were only eight or nine of us in the 
percussion department. We were pretty 
much free to follow any direction we 
wanted, individually and as an ensemble. 



John turned us on to avant-garde percus¬ 
sion music, unorthodox techniques and 
sound sources, polyrhythms, Indian hand 
drumming, and you name it. He made us 
realize that percussion is limitless in terms 
of its instrumental, timbral, rhythmic and 
melodic possibilities. 

We had a really good percussion ensem¬ 
ble there. We were three-time winners of 
the PAS percussion ensemble competition. 
It was an innovative ensemble. We were 
playing a lot of music by people like Lou 
Harrison, and stuff we had written our¬ 
selves using traditional instruments along 
with stuff we had made ourselves. The 
basic idea of what we were doing was to try 
and expand percussion as far as it could 
go, and create alternative sound sources. 
Traditionally, that's been the percussion¬ 
ist's role anyway. Whenever there was 
something odd to be done, you'd give it to 
the percussion section. 

After that, we had a group called the 
Repercussion Unit. John Bergamo, Larry 
Stein and myself were the founders of that. 
We were, obviously, dedicated strictly to 
percussion. Everybody in the group was an 
all-around percussionist—nobody just 
played one thing. After doing that for a 
year, I got the job with Frank Zappa. Since 
then, my involvement with Repercussion 
has been sporadic, but I still try to partici¬ 
pate as often as possible. 

So I don't know if that tells you why I'm 
a percussionist, but it was the snowball 
effect—you start out with one thing, you 
get into something else, and at this point, it 
would be hard for me to just be a drum¬ 
mer, or just this, or just that. Once I've 
done something, I want to keep doing it 
and expanding it in all directions as much 
as I can. 

RM: In school, where did you think your 
study of percussion would lead? 

EM: I didn't really think about it. 

RM: Were you learning the orchestral rep¬ 

EM: No I wasn't. There are a lot of percus¬ 
sionists going through schools with the 
idea that they're headed for an orchestra 
and that's what they should be doing, and 
a lot of them are great at it. But for me, 
being a percussionist means something 
more than having a specific piece as finely 
honed as another hundred people around 
the country who are already doing it. 

RM: How many more people do we need 
who can play the xylophone part to 
"Porgy and Bess"? 

EM I think one thing that happens to too 
many percussionists is that they'll know a 
lick like "Porgy and Bess," but they won't 
understand the theory behind it. Many 
times, percussionists aren't given a decent 
education in terms of the real world of har¬ 
mony; understanding their instrument as a 
harmonic instrument—not just as some¬ 
thing that plays parts in an orchestra. 

When I was eighteen, I saw Dave 

Samuels play vibes with just a rhythm sec¬ 
tion, and it totally blew me out. It made me 
realize that if I was going to play any mal¬ 
lets at all, I had to understand harmonic 
and melodic theory and how it applies to 
the instrument. I studied with Dave for a 
while, and he helped me quite a bit in 
developing that style of playing. A few 
years later, I was fortunate enough to 
study with Emil Richards, who showed me 
several important melodic and harmonic 
concepts. He gave me enough material in 
two hours to keep me going for the next 
nine months! I also got together with Vic¬ 
tor Feldman once, and he showed me sev¬ 
eral concepts about chord voicings which 
could be applied in many different ways. 
RM: You mentioned that at Cal. Arts you 
were free to follow any direction you 
wanted. Did you have any type of formal 
program at all? 

EM: When I got there, I had kind of a 
shock in terms of my learning experience. 
Traditionally, being a student means you 



go to a teacher every Wednesday at two 
o'clock, he takes you through some 
method books, and there's this whole pro¬ 
gram, and by the end of it you'll be where 
everybody else is. I had heard a lot about 
John Bergamo and I really wanted to study 
with him. I was expecting format deluxe, 
because that had been my experience 
before. I met him for the first time and he 
said to me, "Alright, what do you want to 
do?" And I said, "What do you think I 
should do?" He said, "I don't know. Do 
what you want to do." I said, "What 
about lessons?" and he said, "When you 
have something to do, come to my office 
and we'll have a lesson." Of course, he 
wasn't putting me off—he just wanted me 
to do some soul-searching in order to 
define my priorities and gain a better 
understanding of myself. 

I became heavily involved in percussion 
ensemble, various contemporary music 
groups, and South Indian drumming. 
John was very actively involved in every 
rehearsal and performance either as a 
player, conductor or advisor. He worked 
with us every day in a wide variety of musi¬ 
cal situations and, as a result, the need for 
private instruction was minimal. It was a 

unique environment in which we, the stu¬ 
dents, could gradually learn to teach our¬ 
selves by observing his methods. 

RM A lot of people contend that if you 
want to be a musician, you shouldn't go to 
school, you should go out and get a gig. 
EM: At one point, I was going to follow 
that doctrine and leave school. But I'm not 
sorry I went to school, because when 
you're out in the real world, how are you 
going to have a situation where you can 
play twenty-four hours a day? Where are 
you going to get a practice room full of 
percussion instruments that you can 
become accustomed to? You'd have to 
have a huge apartment which was sound¬ 
proof. It's cheaper to go to school. I basi¬ 
cally follow that theory that you really 
learn how to apply your ability as a musi¬ 
cian when you get out of school. But I 
think if somebody really wants to learn to 
be an all-around percussionist, a school is 
the ideal environment. They have the 
instruments, the space, the facility, and 
you have the chance to be around a lot of 
other percussionists, and you can be 
bouncing ideas back and forth. There are 
guidelines for becoming a percussionist, 
but still, it's always unorthodox. You're 
always being confronted with unorthodox 
situations when you're a percussionist, 
even if it's just transporting your instru¬ 
ments. That can be a horror story in itself. 
RM: The older musicians had more 
chances to sit in at after-hours sessions, so 
in many ways, that was a type of school. 
EM: Right. It's a shame that situation 
doesn't exist anymore. 

RM: Maybe that situation has moved into 
the schools. 

EM I think that's actually pretty accurate, 
but yet, it's different. You don't get a 
chance to learn as much about life in 
school. When you get out of school, that's 
what you have to learn about immediately. 
It's sink or swim. Let's face it—a degree 
doesn't mean anything at this point. If you 
augment it with a Master's, then you can 
teach in a school. But even there, how 
many positions are there and do you really 
want to do that? To me, it doesn't make 
sense to go to school, get the degree, and 
immediately come out and accept a teach¬ 
ing position. You have to have a lot of 
practical real-life experience. Then you 
have something to teach about. Being a 
musician is not just about technique and 

RM A lot of teachers have never played a 
professional gig. 

EM: Right. Except school gigs. As a stu¬ 
dent, I would not want to study with some¬ 
one like that. A teacher with a lot of experi¬ 
ence can tell you so much more about how 
to apply what you do to different aspects 
of things that you will probably be encoun¬ 
tering once you get out and start doing it. 
RM: A good teacher must realize that a 
particular student may have a more imme- 



Photo by John Livzey 

diate need to learn now to play a wedding 
reception than to learn the symphonic rep¬ 

EM I had that situation with Bergamo. I 
started to do casuals when I was about 
nineteen. I had always played rock and 
roll, but I got a call from an accordian 
player who played all these rhumbas and 
cha-chas and everything. I could kind of 
fake my way through it, but I didn't know 
anything about the specific styles. I went to 
Bergamo, and he had done a lot of things 
like that. So his experience was invaluable 
to me. 

RM How did you get the gig with Zappa? 
EM John Bergamo had done a lot of 
orchestral work with Frank. About the 
time I graduated from Cal. Arts, John 
called Frank just to see what he was doing, 
and Frank was about to do the overdubs 
on "The Black Page." He gave John the 
music for that, John gave me a copy, and 
we both learned it. Before John went down 
to record it, he told Frank that I also knew 
the piece, so we both went down and 
recorded it. There are two versions: one is 
full band with mallets, the other version 
uses alternative sound sources—brake 
drums, pipes, the kind of thing Repercus¬ 
sion was involved in. We still had the 
Repercussion Unit at that time. So any¬ 
way, John and I did the overdubs on "The 
Black Page," and I met Frank then. 

A few months later, Ruth [Underwood] 
told me that Frank was forming a new 
band and was looking for another key¬ 
board player. I had known Tommy Mars 
since 71. We used to have bands together 
on the East Coast. He had just come out to 
California and was looking for a gig. So I 
called Frank up to get Tommy an audition. 
Frank remembered me and asked me if I 
would like to audition too, because he was 
also looking for a percussionist. That was 
June of 77. 

RM Did you have a formal audition? 

EM To a degree, but Frank already had a 
decent idea of what I could do since I had 
done some recording with him. It wasn't a 
"cattle call," which was fortunate. A lot 
of times, you'll see players come through 
those things, and when you have fifteen 
players waiting to audition, it's just "Next 
. . . next . . . next ..." Depending on 
your ability to handle a situation like that, 
you may give a good impression of your¬ 
self or not, regardless of what your abili¬ 
ties are. So a lot of it is based on Frank's 
intuitive feeling at the time. 

I think that had a lot to do with it when 
he asked me to join the band. When I went 
to the audition, it was about one o'clock in 
the morning. I had called him up about 
midnight, and he said, "Well, if you think 
you'd like the job, why don't you come up 
right now?" And I said, "Well, maybe 
tomorrow or something?" "No, no, if you 
want to do it, come up right now." So I 
went up and he had this really dimly lit 
room in his basement. He put all of the 
charts in front of me. It was an audition of 
sorts—he wanted to see how I could handle 
some of the music and how my basic sight 
reading was. I struggled through it, but I 
didn't feel I did a particularly good job. I 
suppose Frank just got the feeling I could 
handle it. 

It took a lot of work that summer. We 
were rehearsing about six to eight hours a 
day, five days a week, and I would spend 
the rest of my time at home practicing it. I 
was just trying to get a basic feel for it. 
There are certain rhythmic patterns that 
Frank writes. You see them in different 
pieces and in different places, but it's all 
sort of coming from the same idea. It's not 
a formula; it's just a stylistic thing. Certain 
things occur here and there and you can 
relate them to other pieces. So I used all of 
my extra time to get a handle on how Frank 

wrote, his phrasing, and how he wanted 
things to sound stylistically. 

RM: After you adjusted to his style, did 
things get easier? 

EM Frank is never easy. He'll write some¬ 
thing which, at the time, is more difficult 
than anything he has written before, and 
it's a challenge to see if you can cut it. You 
spend hours learning this thing, and once 
you do, then that becomes the new stand¬ 
ard. Then he'll write something past that. 

The thing I've noticed since I've been 
with him is that his music is becomming 
rhythmically more difficult. Instead of 
having standard odd subdivisions per beat, 
like a quarter note divided into five or 
seven or something like that, he'll have 
something like a seven grouping over three 
quarter notes, and then out of the seven, 
have a five over four of the seven beats. 
You have to be able to subdivide the seven 
to know where the five ends and the last 
three beats of the seven start. Also, group¬ 
ings will start in the middle of a bar, say on 
the third quarter note of one bar, and go to 
the fourth quarter of the next bar, and over 
those five notes, he'll have an eleven, or 
something like that. And it might not be a 
full eleven—there might be rests and trip¬ 
lets within it. When I first joined the band, 
he wasn't writing too many things like 
that. If he was, it was here and there. He 
has pieces now that are entirely based on 
that principle. Everything is over the bar 
and it's all odd groupings on top of the 
basic space you've been given, and then 
odd subdivisions within that. You really 
have to know how to count to play that 

RM: Does he really hear those things in his 
mind, or are they figured out mathemati¬ 

EM He really hears it, and then it's fig¬ 
ured out mathematically later on to repre¬ 
sent it as accurately as possible. After you 



get a figure like that and start to phrase it, 
it's different than if you just play it mathe¬ 
matically. It has to be phrased, otherwise, 
it doesn't sound right. 

RM: You've worked with several different 
drummers during the time you've been 
with Zappa. 

EM: Terry Bozzio was the drummer when 
I came in, and then there was Vinnie Col- 
aiuta. I wasn't in the band with David 
Logeman. There was a point where Frank 
took about nine months off, and then 
when the band re-formed, it was a very 
vocally oriented band. He decided not to 
include percussion in that particular band, 
so I was off playing drums, trying to keep 
that part of my life going. When I started 
working with Frank again, I guess it was 
December of 1980. Vinnie was back at that 
point. Then Vinnie left and Chad Wacker- 
man came in. 

RM How much effect does a different 
drummer have on the band? 

EM: It makes a pretty big difference 
because Frank will write around how peo¬ 
ple play. He used to do a lot of stuff with 
Vinnie where they would just kind of go 
free. They would really go out, because 
they had an ability to feel phrases together. 

So Frank did a lot of that kind of thing 
with Vinnie, and that really changed the 
whole sound of the band. 

Before that, we had Terry, who has that 
whole, "Every note I play will be the last 
thing I'm remembered for" type of 
approach. His playing is really metric and 
really solid, so with that band, everything 
was constructed around that kind of play¬ 
ing. It was real hard-driving, punchy 

This new guy, Chad, is right in between 
them. He has this kind ofjazz-like fluidity, 
like Vinnie, but he really has an ability to 
play sparsely and simply and real hard¬ 
hitting when he wants to. He kind of incor¬ 
porates both. Chad leaves a lot of space 
and we work off each other. We get dual 
licks going between the percussion and the 

RM A moment ago, you mentioned that 
you were off playing drums for a while. 

EM: At that point, I hadn't played drums 
for about two and a half years, and I didn't 
want to let it go. If Frank had called and 
asked me to come back, I probably would 
have done it, but it was important to me to 
re-establish myself, just within my own 
mind, as being able to be a working drum¬ 
mer. That's really important. If you 
already play drums, there's no reason to let 
it go. Even if you think of yourself as an 


active percussionist, unless you're in the 
hub of a studio scene or something, the 
ability to play drums comes in handy just 
in terms of making a living. 

RM What types of gigs were you doing? 
EM I did some demo tapes for solo pro¬ 
jects, some club work—I was basically just 
freelancing. There was one band that 
remained together for about four months, 
but that was the only steady thing I did. I 
wanted to make it as varied as possible. I 
was playing some hard-rock things, a few 
jazz gigs at a couple of small clubs, and the 
normal amount of weddings and things 
like that. Just basic drumming. 

RM This brings up the basic problem that 
every percussionist has to face: How does 
one maintain the ability to play so many 
instruments, when any one of them could 
involve a lifetime's worth of work? 

EM It's controlled schizophrenia. I know 
exactly what you're talking about. I've 
heard a lot of percussionists say that even¬ 
tually they have to make a decision. At one 
point they will say, "Well, okay. It's time 
to get serious with life and now it's just 
going to be ..." It's usually mallets or 
drum set. Being a serious tympanist is also 
its own thing. 

When you talk about zeroing in on one 
instrument, someone like Vinnie—he's a 
drummer. That's what he does. That's his 
main focus and he's a drummer's drum¬ 
mer. He has a real complete understand¬ 
ing, because all of his time has been spent 

in developing his drumming abilities. 

I find it very hard to eliminate anything 
totally. Since 1976, I think I've been lean¬ 
ing a little heavier on mallets than on 
drums, but it would be literally impossible 
for me to say, "Well, that's it. I'm not 
going to play drums anymore." It has been 
too much a part of my development and I 
don't want to let it go. It's the same thing 
with hand drumming. Since I spent a lot of 
time doing that, it's something I couldn't 
leave behind. 

I see it as an all-around, comprehensive 
thing. Playing drums benefits your mallet 
playing; mallet playing will benefit your 
drumming. Every instrument has its own 
subtle techniques, but each one will give 
you a different slant on the others, and 
eventually, it all adds up to one compre¬ 
hensive ability. Playing one gives you an 
idea of what you want the other to do. To 
me, that's the greatest value of playing 
many different instruments. 

It is harder; once you decide to take on 
all of these instruments and play them 
actively throughout the rest of your life, it 
is more difficult to become a virtuoso on 
any one of them. But I think it is possible 
to kind of specialize on one, and still be as 
competent as you like on the others. With 
me, mallets is pretty much my specializa¬ 
tion. That's something I spent enough time 
on, and I'm definitely more comfortable 
soloing on mallets. So I guess I would say 
continued on page 74 




by Scott K. Fish 
Music By James Morton 

In The History of Rock Drumming: Parts I and II, I skimmed 
the surface on most of the drummers in blues and country music of 
the '50s who shaped rock and roll. Many of the names of those 
players were probably new to most MD readers, but the drummers 
are extremely important in the evolution of this music, and I feel 
it's extremely important that they be studied and listened to. 

Towards the late '50s, rock and roll made a transition from be¬ 
ing the product of a handful of independent labels to becoming a 
major marketing music for the larger record companies. The 
"stars" of rock and roll at that time also went through a transition 
period. Little Richard stopped performing and concentrated on 
spiritual studies. Elvis Presley went into the Army. Jerry Lee Lewis 
married his fourteen-year-old cousin and that shattered his career. 
Chuck Berry was in jail for a while on charges that seemed ques¬ 
tionable. Some performers like Bo Diddley and Fats Domino never 
progressed into new areas of music, and although their music was 
still great rock and roll, it became somewhat dated. 

The larger record companies took the rawness and the musical 
innocence of the great rock performers and, in many ways, re¬ 
duced it to its lowest common denominator. A slick formula was 
created and the energy was focused on creating artists that would 
appeal to the teen market. From 1959 to 1963 the songwriters be¬ 
came the fuel for the rock/pop industry. Teams like Carole King 
and Gerry Coffin, Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, Barry Mann and 
Cynthia Well, Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman, and Neil Sedaka 
and Howard Greenfield wrote some great songs. But, between '59 
and '63, artists emerged who probably sold as much for their image 
as for their musical ability. Bobby Rydell, Annette Funicello, 
Frankie Avalon, Paul Anka and Fabian were a few of the "big" 
artists . . . or perhaps "talents" would be a more correct title. 

The '60s could be called the "coming out" decade for drum¬ 
mers. From about 1956 until 1965, there was the phenomenon of 
instrumental rock groups. Much of this style of music has been 
carried over into the New Wave bands of the '80s. The record that 
really brought drummers out front in the rock field was "Topsy 
II" by Cozy Cole in 1958. Cole had been primarily a swing jazz 
' drummer since the late '30s and for a time had a drum school with 
Gene Krupain New York. "Topsy II" begins with the Cole/Krupa 
I tom-tom sound, into a cowbell rhythm, an organ solo, and some 
I classic big-band brass that sounds like the soundtrack to an Italian 
spy movie. Cozy moves from tom-toms to snare, shifting dynamics 
from loud to soft. I doubt if anyone could've guessed the signifi¬ 
cance of this song, especially since it was originally the flip side of 
"Topsy I." But, we'll see how this sound carried through the '60s. 

Photo courtesy The Ventures 



The year 1959 gave us groups like Duane Eddy and Johnny and 
The Hurricanes. Duane Eddy was a tremendous influence in guitar 
circles, and Johnny and The Hurricanes were a bunch of guys from 
Ohio that Rolling Stone called "some missing link between the 
great jazz combos of the '30s and the Rolling Stones." The drum¬ 
mer was Bo Savitch from Detroit, an extremely rocking player with 
a crisp drum sound. Bo and the rest of The Hurricanes released 
"Crossfire," "Red River Rock," Reveille Rock," and "The Beat¬ 
nik Fly." The instrumentation was drums, electric bass, electric 
guitar, organ and tenor sax. 

1959 produced an off-the-wall record called "Teen Beat" that 
went to number four on the charts. The artist was Sandy Nelson, a 
drummer who would go on to record almost forty albums in his 
career, and to this day, he remains the only artist to consistently 
have records that were drum features in the Top 40. Sandy Nelson 
is forty-three years old and lives in West Los Angeles. "I saw 
everybody around me making records," Sandy told me, "and I 
thought, 'Why don't I do one myself?' Cozy Cole did a great job 
and I thought there could be room for one more drum record. So I 
tried to make a beat that was danceable and, believe it or not, I got 
the idea for the 'feel' of the beat from 'Battle of New Orleans' by 
Johnny Horton. (Editor's Note: The drummer on "Battle of New 
Orleans" was Buddy Harman.) That was for 'Teen Beat.' If you 
listen to both records, they each have the same feel. I thought of 
the title from looking at record charts. I saw Teen Angel' and I 
thought, 'How can I work that into drum or tom-tom'!' Then I 
thought of beat. Most of the companies turned the idea down. I 
remember Preston Epps (Editor's Note: Epps had a hit with 
"Bongo Rock" in 1959) coming into the control room and saying 
to the producer, 'Well, that's just a march. "Art said, 'I don't care 
what it is as long as it sounds good.' That was my first lesson in the 
record business: Just follow your heart. Whatever sounds good." 

In 1960 a band called The Ventures had a number two hit with 
"Walk—Don't Run" that "was a model for thousands of high- 
school bands." The Ventures were four musicians who played two 
electric guitars, electric bass and drums. The original drummer was 
Howie Johnson, who injured his neck in a car accident, was re¬ 
placed temporarily by Sandy Nelson, and then permanently by Mel 
Taylor. Again in 1960 the Ventures released "Perfidia," and then 
"Ram-Bunk-Shun" in 1961. There was nothing complex about 
The Ventures' music. I think the magic and the appeal was that 
they played simple enough for kids to copy them, but they also 
played sophisticated enough so that kids had to stretch their tech¬ 
nique to learn the songs. 

Sandy Nelson returned to the charts in 1961 with a record that 
has become one of the most famous rock and roll drum records: 
"Let There Be Drums."" I went on the road with The Ventures for 
a few months," Nelson said, "and got real depressed. I thought, 
'Dammit, I want another hit record.' I thought, 'Gee, this is a lot 

of work getting out here on the road trying to earn a buck. If I just 
had one more hit.' After 'Teen Beat' was a hit, all the fellows in the 
recording industry out here would sort of kid me and say, 'Well, 
you were lucky. It was a fluke. It could never happen again.' Impe¬ 
rial Records gave me one more chance on 'Let There Be Drums' 
and I fooled everybody and had another hit! And that one I got 
paid on! 

"I stole a lot of licks from Cozy Cole on 'Let There Be Drums.' I 
was listening to an album of his that had a version of 'Let There Be 
Drums' on it and Cozy was trying to copy me copying him!" 

"Let There Be Drums" begins with a tom-tom solo right out of 
the Cozy Cole bag. A sinister guitar comes in with a short riff and 
disappears leaving Sandy to go crazy. The drums were recorded 
beautifully and Nelson's playing is very melodic. There are no 
cymbals except an occasional crash and the constant hi-hat. 


"I think the greatest influence on me was Earl Palmer," Nelson 
continued. "In the '40s when I was pretty small, I listened to Benny 

Photo courtesy Bob Berryhill 



Goodman, Illinois Jacquet and Duke Ellington. I think that music 
was more or less implanted in my soul over my lifetime because 
that's now the kind of stuff I'm playing. 

"I only basically had one set in those days. I had a Ludwig silver- 
sparkle set that I'm still using now, but I've painted it black. I 
bought them in 1962. But, I have to admit—the drum world would 
understand this—that I'm not using a Ludwig bass drum. I'm us¬ 
ing a Gretsch. It punches through a lot better. Primarily on 'Let 
There Be Drums' there were two small tom-toms, the regular 16" 
floor tom, and a regular Ludwig snare about 1962 vintage. I don't 
have that snare anymore. I wish I did. 

"I bump into young drummers once in a while who say they 
want to get my old sound. They miss the boat most of the time 
because they feel it's the heaviness of the sticks or the micro¬ 
phones. Most rock drummers, when they solo, they get so excited 
that they overplay and they play fast and one volume—LOUD. 
Then they wonder why they can't get that old 'Birth of The Beat' 
sound on the tom-toms. You've got to treat a drum like a woman." 

The phenomenon of "surf music" came out of this era. Artists 
like Dick Dale and the Del-Tones had a hit with "Let's Go Trip- 
pin'," but the record that warmed every drummer's heart and frus¬ 
trated many players was a record made by a bunch of kids who 
were fifteen and sixteen years old, except for the drummer. He was 
eighteen at best, a kid named Ron Wilson, on a record called 
"Wipe Out" in 1963, by The Surfaris. 

The Surfaris' rhythm guitarist, Bob Berryhill, took some time to 
tell me a little bit about Ron Wilson and the origin of "Wipe Out." 
"Ronnie got his start, I guess, making drum cadences for his high 
school marching band. So, 'Wipe Out' is essentially a drum ca¬ 
dence that he never gave to a band to use. I don't know if he 
worked on it or not, but I know that he just came up with the 
cadence right there in the studio. 

"We went into record 'Surfer Joe' and we needed a B side for the 
record. We said, 'Let's come up with an instrumental.' We just 
started kicking it around and came up with 'Wipe Out' in ten or 
fifteen minutes. It was a group effort. I said, 'Why don't we make it 
like "Bongo Rock" with a little bit of breaking so Ronnie can 
solo?' That was the key to surf bands in those days —have lots of 
drum solos! Ronnie was a perfect showman or a ham. We said, 
'Well, let's just make a drum solo out of it and we'll just throw a 
few break chords in there.' Dale Small, our original manager, was 
producing the record. He used to do witch's laughs for his own 

documentary films. He came up with the laugh after we decided on 
having 'Wipe Out' as the title. We broke some old cement plaster¬ 
board over a microphone and he let out with his witch's laugh and 
it became 'Wipe Out.' We recorded that somewhere around De¬ 
cember of '62 and it was a number-one hit in June of '63. We'd 
only been playing since October of '62 as a group. I don't know if 
Ronnie had ever played in a band before. 

"The guys came over to my house and we all plugged into my 
one Bandmaster amplifier and played for about four hours. They 
said, 'Hey, there's a dance tonight. We're going to meet a drum¬ 
mer at Tomona Catholic High School.' We got together and 
played our first dance and had never even been with Ronnie. We 
played a whole four hour dance with four guys that had hardly ever 
seen each other before. We played things like 'Ramrod,' 'Bull¬ 
dog' ... the stuff that The Champs and The Ventures had writ¬ 
ten. It was a lot of simple blues. Just hard-driving kind of a guitar 
sound. Just basically three-chord blues in a rock fashion. 

"One of the disc jockeys here on KROQ calls 'Wipe Out' the 
'garage anthem.' It's just one of those songs where a bunch of guys 
got together and said, 'Hey, let's come up with a song' and it comes 
out to be a classic that's remembered forever." 

The concept of self-contained bands became almost non-exist¬ 
ent for a while in the '50s. On the positive side, this phenomenon 
brought us some of the greatest studio drummers of the '60s. The 
four major studio drummers—particularly in the early '60s—were 
Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer, Jesse Sailes, and Sharkey Hall. Both 
Jesse and Sharkey were forerunners to Hal and Earl. Hal Blaine 
told me, "Sharkey Hall was one of the biggest influences in my life; 
one of the nicest gentlemen in the world. I met him when I was 
about fifteen. Jesse Sailes kind of taught me a lot of stuff too. 
Between Sharkey, Jesse Sailes, and Earl Palmer . . . they were one 
of the big black influences in rock and roll. As a kid I played with 
all black people until I got into the service at sixteen or seventeen. I 
first started working with white guys in the Army. 

"I used to hang out with Sharkey a little bit. We'd go to jam 
sessions and things. Sharkey was doing a lot of records then. The 
only thing that kept Jesse and Sharkey from staying in the studios 
was that they weren't tremendous readers. When rock started hap¬ 
pening, Sharkey and Jesse were the guys that were doing garage 
demos and stuff like that. They were the guys that were happening. 
Earl, too. The early rock and roll of the studios was not out of the 
studios! It was out of garages. Those tunes were so baby-like at the 
beginning that the average jazz or learned musician scoffed and 
laughed and said, 'What kind of bullshit is that?' They forget that 
it's evolution and you've got to go with it. 

"Most of the guys I know from my era played shows, dances, 
Bar Mitzvahs . . . whatever! When the rock and roll thing started 
happening, you had to learn to play 'oom dah dah oom dak' Even 
that beat was ancient history. Every time you saw a camel movie 
they were playing that beat." 

One of the most disheartening aspects of researching this article 
was that drummers like Sharkey Hall and Jesse Sailes had almost 
no specific recollection of records they'd been on. I asked Jesse 
Sailes if he could recall some of the records he was involved with. 
He said, "That's really hard to do. Offhand I couldn't tell you. 
One of my big things was 'The In Crowd' with Dobie Gray. It's 
just hard to think of everything right now. I wasn't into no one 
thing. I was studying all of it. In fact, when I started playing, it was 
mostly swing. Then when the trend changed, I went on with the 




change. It was very interesting. Once you've studied it's not hard 
to get into what's happening. The whole thing was getting that beat 
going, because that's what made the thing go. The rhythm. The 
drummer. That was really what made the rock deal go. 

"When I was coming up, there was quite a few of us. Sharkey 
Hall, Dave Mills, Hal Blaine, Earl Palmer . . . those are the main 
ones. We were doing nearly all of the stuff. They'd call me into the 
studio to do a session. I really didn't know who the group was. I'd 
just do the session and that was it. It started changing because a lot 
of groups started coming in with their own rhythm section." 

Sharkey Hall is sixty years old now, but to hear him speak, you'd 
think he was twenty-five. "Earl and Hal were kind of like pioneers 
in the business. They did many things. In my case, I did a lot of 
ghost drumming for different outfits like The Ventures, The Beach 
Boys, The Diamonds." The Ventures? "Of course, that was when 
they were real young. They had a kind of a 'time' problem. It took 
a little while for them to get the experience to be steady. I guess the 
biggest thing that I was on was Ernie Freeman's 'Raunchy' and 
Jewel Aiken's 'Birds and The Bees.' They're about the only two 
that come to mind, that were like gold records. 

"I was raised in show business. After I got out of the service I 
was primarily a jazz drummer. I ended up working in a club with 
Ernie Freeman out here about the same time Earl Palmer came to 
town with Fats Domino. He used to come in where I worked and I 
let him sit in. At the time—because Earl was working with Fats 
Domino—a lot of the jazz fellows didn't think that he could play 
jazz. Come to find out that he had been expressly brought out here 
by Aladdin Records to be their staff drummer. The next thing I 
know, my phone started ringing with referrals from Earl because 
he'd gotten quite busy. Between that and 'Raunchy' being a hit, I 
ended up about third man on call in the studios out here for about 
ten years. 

"I got out of the service about 1945 and I really wanted to be a 
bebop drummer, but I couldn't make a living at it. So, I had to play 
a more commercial style. In the early '50s the kids found the rock 
thing, so I stepped from jazz right on over into that." 

I asked Sharkey if that was a tough transition. "Psychologically 
it was for a while. For a while I wondered about the appeal and I 
thought for a while that it was kind of like a step backward. But, as 
the thing began to get a little more sophisticated, it became a chal¬ 
lenge. Some of the guys out here with the 'heavy' reputations 
thought it was a passing fancy. As a matter of fact, a lot of the guys 
actually refused to do rock dates. Consequently, that gave me a 
clear shot at the number-three slot." 

Of all the studio drummers in the '60s, Hal Blaine was, in his 
own estimation, recorded most. He's probably right. "I guess 
there's no question that I was the most recorded drummer in the 
'60s. I stopped counting at 35,000 singles. Now, those are logged. 
Every song I ever recorded got written down." 

Hal became interested in drums at nine years of age, and was 
influenced by Baby Dodds, Sonny Greer, Gene Krupa and Buddy 
Rich. In the April '81 MD, Blaine told Robyn Flans: "I came along 
at a time when drummers tuned their drums real high in pitch, real 
tight. A lot of that was for technique so they could play those high 
notes and get a lot of bounce to the ounce, as it were. I came along 
and I tuned drums down to normal, mid-range." 

Hal's greatest opportunity came from working with Phil Spec- 
tor in the '60s. Phil Spector was called' 'The First Tycoon of Teen" 
by author Tom Wolfe. The Encyclopedia of Rock called him "one 
of the single most enigmatic figures in rock history while also being 
among the most seminal of pioneers in the genre." Spector was the 
most successful record producer from the late '50s until the arrival 
of the Beatles. His first hit was with his own band, The Teddy 
Bears, called "To Know Him Is To Love Him," followed by a co¬ 
writing of "Spanish Harlem" by Ben E. King, and The Drifter's 
"On Broadway." He produced "Will You Still Love Me Tomor¬ 
row?" by The Shirelles, "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals, plus 
"Da Doo Ron Ron," and "Then He Kissed Me." He signed The 
Righteous Brothers in '64, and had a couple of smash hits. One was 
"You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' " (with Earl Palmer on drums) 

where "his genius for production truly blossomed to create a single 
of epic proportion, the zenith of his so-called 'wall-of-sound' tech¬ 
nique." Later on, Spector would produce "Instant Karma" by 
John Lennon, Let It Be by The Beatles, and the All Things Must 
Pass and Bangla Desh albums for George Harrison. 

"Phil Spector, God bless him, used to let me just go nuts on 
records," Hal told Robyn Flans. "None of that has ever been du¬ 
plicated. People have hired the same musicians, the same studio, 
the same engineer to get the same thing, but it could never be dupli¬ 
cated. To this day, only Phil Spector can get that sound." 

What was it like for the drummer on those classics? 

"It was all magic. We were all new people in the studios in the 
early '60s. I guess we were the 'stars' to be. There was so much 
spirit and so much vitality. The adrenalin was unbelievable. Every 
producer in the world used to hang out at [the Spector] sessions 
just to touch Phil; just to try and hear something that would rub off 
on them. Those sessions were agony and ecstasy. We worked for 
many hours at a clip—without breaks generally—and we made the 
biggest records in the world. 

"From the nucleus of the Phil Spector records came The Beach 
Boys, Jan & Dean, Johnny Rivers, and everybody that happened 
after that. It all happened because Phil Spector had his 'wall of 
sound.' That was the new sound. That was the new drum thing that 
happened. I was still just playing a four-piece Ludwig set and Phil 
used to let me go nuts on the fades! I had a bass drum that was a 
killer. It had a front head. Everybody liked that 'four-on-the- 
floor' bass drum, and that was another reason why people always 
called me. 'Be sure and bring that bass drum.' I had two of them— 
identical—and they didn't know that. It was impossible to have it 
at every date for four, five, six dates a day. 

continued on page 88 



nhoto by Lem Sinai air 

How do you mentally prepare for drumming? 

"I look at all those people in the audience," says Jeff Myer, 
drummer for Jesse Colin Young, "and I think to myself, 'Boy, 
you'd better be good!' " 

"Before the show I'm always running new ideas through my 
head," says Molly Hatchet's Bruce Crump. "It's kind of a mental 

Derek Pellicci, of the Little River Band, spends a little time alone 
before the show. "I usually go off into a corner or room while the 
vocalists are warming up, and just psyche myself into the perform¬ 
ance," says Pellicci. "I'm not one for the hooting and hollering, 
banging sticks on the wall type of preparation. I'd rather free my 
mind of all thoughts but the performance." 

Billy Cobham's answer caught me off guard: "I use a lot of 
mental preparation—mostly by watching cartoons and eating 
Crackerjacks," bluffed Cobham. Then breaking into a wide grin 
he added, "No really, it's fun forme to play, so I just go play! If I 
have to pressure myself into playing music then it's boring. I'm 
lazy—I play for pure enjoyment. If an off-stage problem is bother¬ 
ing me, I get it out of my system by breaking sticks, busting guitars 
[while darting a menacing glance towards his guitarist] or some¬ 
thing. About 99.9 percent of my gigs are good, and everything falls 
into place. I just look forward to playing." 

To approach each performance in a healthy state of mind is 
imperative to enjoying yourself and drumming your best. All the 
drummers I queried on mental preparation reiterated two basic 
themes: You must be secure and confident of your preparation, so 
that the show, audience and pressure of performing won't inhibit 

your style; and you must approach each performance with a posi¬ 
tive attitude. 

Not being well-practiced and rehearsed can lead to the discovery 
of a formidable foe: stage fright! Many people regard stage fright 
as a performer's number-one enemy. The nervousness it fosters is 
familiar in some degree to all of us. This phenomenon can devas¬ 
tate a drum break or solo, but usually all is not lost. Performance 
will be inhibited but not totally destroyed. You'll still drum, but 
only parts which are safe and easy to pull off. No adventurous fills. 
No unfamiliar patterns. The rationale is that mistakes would be 
too easy to commit. And the mistakes do happen easily, since your 
mind is preoccupied with avoiding mistakes. Stage fright certainly 
perpetuates itself. 

First let me say that some stage fright is normal. Even the estab¬ 
lished pros feel some nervousness. Stage fright is as natural as 
music. When someone steps on stage, something beyond normal 
talent is expected by the audience. How are you more skilled than 
they? Can you drum a part or create a feeling they can't? The 
performer, by taking that first step onto the stage, is welcoming 
critical review and accepting some pressure. Certain situations cre¬ 
ate more pressure than others. If you're aware of an important 
booking agent in the audience, the pressure you assume has 
increased. I can remember practicing at home alone, with no inhi¬ 
bitions whatsoever. As soon as one person was in the room with 
me, however, I suddenly became very aware of how I played. I 


tensed up. Was I sounding repetitive? Did my practice drumming 
sound coherent? Even seemingly inconsequental thoughts entered 
my mind. How did I look? Was this person bored? All this inner 
turmoil ruined my concentration, even while practicing in my own 
home! I can also vividly remember being scared to drum at high 
school jazz festivals. I'd be standing in the wings off-stage, watch¬ 
ing and listening to a drummer from another band and thinking, 
"Gee, that guy's really fast," or "He plays smoother than I do." I 
was tearing my self-confidence apart by worrying. My problem of 
insecurity lied with my practice habits—I should have gone over 
my parts more completely. Experienced drummers who know their 
parts inside out won't be bothered by watching another drummer. 
Paul T. Riddle, of the Marshall Tucker Band, wrote me that, "I 
relax my mind by listening to the opening act, running new mate¬ 
rial through my head." He is able to watch another drummer 
purely for entertainment since he is secure in his ability. But it takes 
time for confidence to replace nervousness. Your practicing 
should include more difficult passages than the performance will 
entail. This will make the performance seem easy in comparison. 

Here are ten simple exercises you can apply before and while 
performing to help with stage fright: 

1. Like yourself. Be comfortable with who you are and how you 
think others perceive you. Know in your heart that you've tried to 
be a good person. Also, be comfortable with your personal appear¬ 
ance. Take care of cosmetics such as hair and clothing so that 
you're satisfied with the image you project. 

2. Understand your drums. Every three or four months I get the 
feeling I'm out of touch with my set. Whether I've been playing 
consistently or not, I don't feel like the instrument is an extension 

create a feeling of goodwill. You're hired as an entertainer, so why 
not entertain the club personnel? After all, they hired you! 

5. Review the show before starting. I like to go over the beginning 
of each tune as I preview the set lists. Sometimes I'll concentrate on 
the tempos beforehand. If you're playing new material that's still a 
little shaky, try bringing a small cassette player with headphones, 
and find an inconspicuous place to listen to the song on a break. 
Whatever you do, don't try to count off a song you can't remem¬ 
ber. In a tight spot I'll ask the bass player to hum a few bars to me. 
Then the whole song comes back like a tidal wave! 

6. Acknowledge your nervousness. If you're a little shaky, pre¬ 
tending no anxiety exists usually won't work. One of the first steps 
toward turning stage fright into useful energy is observing your 
trembling hands and dealing with it. They are only physical reac¬ 
tions to increased mental anxiety. Appreciate where you are, all the 
practice it took to get there, and review the show. Lean on the other 
band members for a little support. Chances are good that the key¬ 
boardist is every bit as apprehensive as you, so talk together about 
the show. There is power in numbers. 

7. Releaseyour tension physically. Drums are easily distinguished 
from other instruments because of their physical nature—they are 
made to be hit, sometimes very hard. It requires a physical musi¬ 
cian to play the instrument properly. If a drummer is nervous 
before starting, usually just playing through a few opening songs is 
enough to calm the nerves and regain composure. Nervousness is 
felt because of an excess of adrenalin racing through the body. 
Using up some of this adrenalin can be done before starting instead 
of using the first few numbers to wear off this stimulant, by physi¬ 
cally working your body. Exercises requiring bursts of energy, 

Prepare For Drumming 

by Jim Dearomg 

of myself anymore. How I get close to the set again is to give it a 
thorough cleaning—take everything apart, check threads, tighten 
screws—I want to get my hands all over the drumshells to feel how 
they make their respective tones, and appreciate the craftsmanship 
which went into forming them, the tightness and sturdiness of the 
stands and mounts, and the perfection of the cymbals. Then, when 
I next sit down to play, I better understand the physical nature of 
my drums. They'll sound better to me, and I'll be proud of my 
instrument. My confidence in the set will be reborn. 

3. Arrive prepared. Cover as many details as possible before leav¬ 
ing for your gig. Unexpected variables such as not having good 
directions or being caught without clean stage clothes can change 
the entire complexion of a show. Several seemingly insignificant 
aberrations can snowball into a very depressing evening, but by 
checking off a mental list of items, you can avoid some bad situa¬ 
tions. If a mental list doesn't work, draw up a list on paper, have it 
duplicated, then each time you leave to drum, check off each item 
as it is packed into the car. 

4. Be comfortable in your surroundings. This will make you feel 
more at ease. Your practice room probably has a reassuring quality 
to it, since you've been there often. You know where things belong 
and can be found. When you arrive at a club, set up the drums and 
then take a moment to explore the premises, familiarizing yourself 
with the conditions. At show time, this new awareness will give you 
a sense of belonging. Talk to the owner, bartender, waitress, and 

such as squats, push-ups, chin-ups or jumping in place, will use up 
adrenalin, thus allowing your body to relax. Drumming warm-ups 
can also release physical tension, though less effectively. 

Deep breathing exercises can relieve tension, because people 
usually constrict breathing when they're afraid. Take several deep 
breaths (at least five) consecutively, and feel yourself relax. 

8. Be innovative and imaginative. Go ahead and think up a couple 
of new ideas each week to try when performing. Expand your rep¬ 
ertoire of accents and patterns. This is a sure way to build confi¬ 
dence. By taxing your imagination to think of new parts, you can 
laugh in the face of stage fright. Ideally you'll get new parts down 
at a practice, but sometimes you'll have a brilliant idea while per¬ 
forming. Why wait for a practice? Do it now! If it doesn't fit, you 
won't shrivel up and die. If it does fit, your self-confidence will 
have been bolstered a thousand times. 

On the other hand, some nights are not good for innovation. If 
you don't feel good emotionally or physically, then stay with 
what's comfortable. "Only do what you feel comfortable with," 
says Cobham. "It's always the band first, so know where your 
limits are. It's alright to try something new, but have a good reason 
for doing it, and understand what kind of timing you're getting 
into." If you're at an extremely important audition where your 
every beat is closely listened to, play those parts in which you 
already have the utmost confidence. 

9. Anticipate mistakes. Realize that risking experimentation of 



new, untested parts mean's thaf ytm'll occasionally blow it. Antici¬ 
pate the mi stakes A fee ready for them by knowing how to slip 
securely into a familiar pattern. Many times what sounds bad to 
you won't sound bad to the.iudienoe because they have no precon¬ 
ception of what it should sound like,. U \ ^ \ 

10. Don't dwell on mistakes. Once you make a mistake, forget it 
and think ahead. Try not to worry about who Mught it and who 
didn't. Leave it behind. Since the majority of audiences are not 
musicians, your error will go undetected' by most. And scolding 
yourself for the error onstage L is bad visually. It is good to laugh off 
the mistake, but this too. can be overdone. Until we sat down at a 
business/mee.ting and cleared it up, the musicians in my band had 
the habit of openly acknowledging each mistake by turning to face 
the embarras'sed musician with wide grins and laughs! This habit, 
while done with good intention, was tipping off the audience to all 
our.mistakes. Not very professional, nbr 'did it help to build self- 
confidence. It is enough to simply acknowledge the mistake to 
yourself, and mentally tuck it away until a break when you can 
make a note of it for a later rehearsal. 

In the May '81 MD, I mentioned stage fright, how different 
levels of nervousness affect drumming, and how alcohol can 
inhibit excess anxiety. Basically, I concluded that alcohol 
shouldn't be relied upon to reduce anxiety since it also alters per¬ 
ception., We need to build self-confidence through both practice 
and performance—in short, experience is the key to handling stage 
fright and assuming control over your drums. In his MD column 
"Staying In Tune," Hal Blaine gives readers great advice: "What¬ 
ever you do—do it w,i|th fervor and give yourself some confi¬ 
dence," says Blaine in; the November '81 "^hen.ycju hit a 

vive without a keyboardist for a night; but if you can't make the 
gig, it's cancelled! You are the foundation upon which the rest of 
the band is built. Feel your importance. 

Another good way to cultivate confidence about how you fit in 
with the other musicians is by participation. Play an active role in 
arranging songs, work closely with the bassist on accents, and ana¬ 
lyze guitar and horn parts to make sure that the rhythm is solid and 
not confusing. Assume responsibility for rhythmic cohesion. 
Accept the blame when the basic structure of a song doesn't fit 
smoothly in a groove, then correct the problem. Try your business 
hand at booking a few gigs by contacting clubs and agents, or take 
responsibility forgetting promotional material printed and distrib¬ 
uted. Activities like these solidify your position within the band, 
and you'll feel a difference in personal security. 

Just as participating in the growth of the group is important, so 
is participation with the group in non-musical activities. Have fun 
together! Good interpersonal relations don't always just happen; 
sometimes you must actively strive for good feelings. Throw a 
band party, or go camping together. If you get to know each other 
as good, close friends off-stage, this vibrant friendship will shine 
out to the audience when you make music together. The smiles will 
come easily. 

Feeling secure, confident and not letting stage fright inhibit you 
is one part of mental preparation. To complete your preparation, 
work on adopting an optimistic, positive attitude toward people 
and surroundings. 

The value of positive thinking cannot be over-emphasized. This 
is especially true for a performer, since you must not only think 
positive, but also appear positive. You must entertain the audi¬ 

cymbal— hit u 
man . . . Don't just i 
lot of baloney. If yo 
start hitting." T ‘ 
will build your se 

Df "ding" at it. Give it a good cut, 
like you're playing on eggshells. That's a 
^ant to be self confident—get in there and 
aggressive like this, even if only in practice, 
Ifidence. Cobham, in the August-September 

s. He says that a drummer must have 
— to have the element of security 

79 MD, gives similar advi< 
jfrmll to _ 

when he plays. If no place else in life, when you get on stage you've 
got to know what you're doing." J 

I can remember feeling less important than other members in my 
band. It was an inferiority complex, because they were easily play¬ 
ing instruments which seemed difficult to me, but in actuality my 
coordination and sense of timing was just as difficult for them to 
grasp. In the same MD interview, Cobham summed up my prob¬ 
lem:; ''^Jahy timQS flrumtriers. have been made to feel small in com¬ 
parison to the oilier musicians in the band. When you hear people 
talk about the band< they speak of the band and the drummer, or 
the musicians and the rhythm section. The drummer is not viewed 
as a musician. He's a time-keeper. If the band has a time problem, 
it's the drummer's fault . . . Therefore he's insecure about his 

Be a part of your band. Develop self-confidence not only in your 
ability, but also in your status within the grptip. After all, what one 
member could be considered least eygT 

He to the band? You! If 
the bassist is unable to pljty, a guitarist cah usually cover; if a singer 
can't make iL voeal parts can be' switched; and the band can sur- 

ence—in many cases they've paid money to see you, so there are no 
excuses for a poor performance. "First of all you've got to start 
thinking positive," advises Blaine. "If you start putting yourself 
down, man, you're going to be down. You've got to start putting 
yourself up." 

A good first step towards refining positive attitude and appear¬ 
ance is to gauge how important music is to you. The more devoted 
you are to music and life as a musician, the more enthusiastic your 
performance will be. Likewise, getting excited about a part-time 
musical hobby is harder than if you can freely admit to being 
devoted to music. You can't take more energy out of the music 
than you put in. "When the entire concentration of all your 
force—physical, emotional, and spiritual—is brought to bear, the 
consolidation of these powers properly employed is quite irresist¬ 
ible," says Norman Vincent Peale, in his bestseller The Power Of 
Positive Thinking (Fawcett Crest Books). "Results do not yield 
themselves to the person who refuses to give himself to the desired 
results ... In other words, whatever you are doing, give it all 
you've got. Give every bit of yourself. Hold nothing back." If you 
are devoted to the drums, follow this advice. 

By repetitive practice and performance, you will gain confidence 
and begin to believe in your ability to drum well. If you believe in 
yourself, good things will start to happen. Optimism will turn into 
realistic achievement because a positive attitude perpetuates itself, 
and your whole life will be led in one clear direction. This doesn't 
mean you can't pursue more ventures besides drumming: rather. 

you'll pursue all interests in the same way—with a "go get 'em" 
attitude. Whenever I begin to doubt my drumming ability, I think 
of the most exciting and inspiring drummer I've ever seen, Buddy 
Rich, and compare my drumming lifespan with his. I've been 
drumming for about ten years, but Rich has been drumming for 
about fifty. I figure I can accomplish anything in the forty years I 
have to catch up with him, though of course, I probably won't. But 
realizing I don't have to become a great drummer in one or two 
years is a great relief. That makes me feel better. 

Instead of dwelling on what goals your band hasn't yet achieved, 
pat yourself on the back for what you have done. You say that you 
haven't got that million-dollar recording contract yet, and you 
haven't really accomplished much of anything? Look again. 
You've practiced a lot, right? You can keep a solid beat. Your non¬ 
musical friends can't drum as well as you can. Count all the songs 
in your music collection you can drum, even if they're "easy." 
This self-inventory of accomplishments can be taken even further, 
back to individual beats. So what if you make a mistake in a song? 
That's only one beat out of the entire track. To put that one mis¬ 
take into perspective, count up all of the beats in the song. The 
ratio is about 2,000 to one. Maybe Buddy Rich's ratio is 200,000 to 
one, but 2,000 to one isn't bad! Think in these terms if you feel 
defeated. "If you or I or anybody think constantly of the forces 
that seem to be against us," says Peale, "we will build them up into 
a power far beyond that which is justified. They will assume a 
formidable strength which they do not actually possess." Don't 
take your accomplishments for granted. 

Before a show, learn to dismiss anxieties not related to the per¬ 
formance. Follow Cobham's habit of using drumming to escape 
any outside worries which may be affecting you as a person. Don't 

alone, you can figure out the difficult passage. For now, before a 
show, be confident of your ability to play the upcoming material. 
Expect more than an average performance out of yourself, then go 
out and make it happen. 

It is very important to project your confidence, security and pos¬ 
itiveness to the other musicians and audience. Good vibes radiat¬ 
ing from you can cheer up and encourage the confidence of the 
band. Show them your security by smiling, nodding and acknowl¬ 
edging. If the keyboardist reels off a hot solo, let him know you 
dug it. I've never known a musician who didn't enjoy hearing a 
loud "Yea!" when something hot happened. Liven up the stage! 
Giving compliments is so easily done, and the reward is better, 
more sincere relations within the band. And don't forget the audi¬ 
ence! Treat them as guests, and always acknowledge applause. The 
day you stop graciously acknowledging applause is the day the 
applause will stop. Why should they clap if you don't seem to hear 
it? At least smile. A smile is the world's universal language. It takes 
a little practice and conscious effort, but a smile is the single most 
tell-tale sign of appreciation and positive thinking. 

One discussion to avoid before shows is a band business meet¬ 
ing. Talking over only good news such as job offers, touring possi¬ 
bilities, raises in pay and so forth is fine, but I can't ever remember 
a business meeting which didn't also include bad news, such as 
cancellations, equipment problems or management hassles. This 
can ruin a positive frame of mind. How can you be expected to 
concentrate on music when you just heard a rumor that the volume 
is too loud, the bar is slow and the band is being released tomor¬ 
row? Save business meetings—even impromptu business talks— 
until after the show, when you don't have to appear lively, witty 
and the life of the party. 

let these worries affect your drumming or stage presence. Believe 
that drumming is fun, and it will become fun if it isn't already. 
Drumming is a job that has incredible potential to be fun. Don't 
fall into the trap of having to go to work; instead, always say to 
yourself, "I'm going to go out and play now." Relish the thought 
of being able to release yourself through drumming, and leave 
bothersome personal matters at home. "This process of mind 
drainage," says Peale, "is important in overcoming worry, for 
fear thoughts, unless drained off, can clog the mind and impede 
the flow of mental and spiritual power. But such thoughts can be 
emptied from the mind and will not accumulate if they are elimi¬ 
nated daily. To drain them, utilize a process of creative imagina¬ 
tion. Conceive of yourself as actually emptying your mind of all 
anxiety and fear. Picture all worry thoughts as flowing out as you 
would let water flow from a basin by removing the stopper." This 
refreshening of the mind will allow you to concentrate solely on the 
upcoming show—running patterns through your mind, checking 
and tuning drums, watching the people file in—and get psyched 
into drumming. 

Just prior to playing, foresee yourself executing patterns flaw¬ 
lessly. Predict success! Again, think of your favorable ratio of 
beats (2,000 to one) and reinforce your confidence with all the 
parts you play well. Only run a difficult part through your mind if 
you have figured it out to your own satisfaction. Don't dwell on a 
hard part you never seem to get right. If you have that problem, 
rearrange the part so it is easier to play. Later, while practicing 

Before you realize it, positive thinking will lead to thinking posi¬ 
tive. What was once an effort to uphold now stands by itself. Your 
personality will have changed. Another delightful aspect of posi¬ 
tive, optimistic thinking is that it is contagious. The rest of the 
band will appreciate your attitude, and subconsciously imitate 
your positive behavior. This band "face lift" will be easily appar¬ 
ent among the audience, who will be floored by this inspiring, viva¬ 
cious group of musicians. Result: return customers for the bar, 
and more bargaining leverage for you. 

As you further acquire an upbeat, optimistic attitude, spotting 
pessimistic people who appear to be in a mental rut will be easy. 
For every good word you speak, they'll utter some negative 
counter-comment. Unless you have the time and really care for the 
person, don't waste your professional time with these people. Does 
your band want to be dragged down by a musician who constantly 
complains? Personality is as important as musical talent when 
assembling a band you hope to keep together. 

Finally, keep in mind that you must actively exercise your new 
positive approach to retain it. Little River Band's Pellicci is well 
aware of this. "LRB and its crew have found that an idle mind 
sometimes leads to a depressed mind. That's the last sort of atti¬ 
tude that an audience wants to see a band present." 

Practice a positive approach to drumming, and rehearse and 
perform all you can. Then you'll be able to look at a crowd of 
thousands, as Jesse Colin Young's Jeff Myer does, and turn your 
bubbling excitement into useful energy—and drum up to your 
greatest expectations. jj' 



The Outlaws first album was released in 
1974. David Dixjoined them on record in 
1977, on the Hurry Sundown album, but 
he'd been a member many years earlier 
when The Outlaws was a high-school 
band. The band has gone through several 
facelifts that have taken it from being a 
country/rock band to a rock band with 
country influences. The Outlaws began as 
a one-drummer band, and when Dix 
joined they played with two drummers 
until 1979 when David became the main 

Dix is like bottled energy. He's 
extremely serious about rock and roll and 
drumming. He has evolved by his own 
admission since 1977, learning what not to 
play more than anything else. I had a great 
time doing this interview, as David was 
extremely candid and straight-ahead. His 
goals for his future seem to be summed up 
in his statement, "1 don't want to be just 
another tasteless rock drummer." 

DD: The Outlaws started when I was a kid. 
Hughie Thomasson and I played in our 
first band together when we were both 
twelve or thirteen. We played in a couple 
of different bands together during our 
early teens. When we were both fifteen, 
The Outlaws got together. This was back 
about 1967. We played around like that for 
a long time, playing weekends in bars 
under the name The Outlaws. About the 
time I was eighteen or nineteen, I left the 
band. I went to work a steady job! It was a 
lounge gig, $135 a week, and at eighteen 
that was a gold mine. But, it was a terrible 
gig. It was piano, bass and drums playing 
the old standards. It was not one of the bet¬ 
ter gigs I had in my life, but the money was 
good—so, what the hell! 

The Outlaws continued and Monte 
Yoho took my place. The band played 
around and broke up and reformed a 
couple of times. Eventually they got their 
first album deal which came out in 75. We 
were still good friends and kept in touch. I 
was basically trying to make a living and 
they wanted to be rock stars. Right after 
the third album, I got a call from Monte. 
He said, "The band wants to use two 
drummers!" He seemed all for it. If I was 
the drummer in the band—I would at least 
have my feelings hurt, I guess, but Monte 
was really excited about it. 

I said, "Sure. Yeah." I've been with The 
Outlaws since July 1977. Monte left two 
years ago. Since then the band's just been 

with one drummer. It's been great! Work¬ 
ing with two drummers is difficult. It's not 
my cup of tea. 

SF: Could you and Monte switch from 
drumset to other percussion instruments? 
DD: I play congas reasonably well and a 
little timbale, but with this kind of band 
there's not a lot of room for that. Rhyth¬ 
mically it works, but the sound doesn't 
work. Conga drums with rock and roll? 
There wasn't much we could do with it. 
There were a couple of tunes where I did 
some conga work, but on the whole, every¬ 
thing was two drumsets. 

SF: Monte never switched off onto percus¬ 

DD: There were a couple of things that he 
played percussion on, but I think he 
might've felt a little uncomfortable. See, 
there were some songs where I thought 
having two drummers was like killing a fly 
with a shotgun! It's all backbeat, mainly. 
There's nothing really that technically 
involved. Sometimes we'd switch off just 
for the sake of not having two guys playing 
drumsets at the same time. 

SF: We were speaking about Butch Trucks 
and Jaimoe Johanson as two drummers 
who were stylistically almost opposite, but 
who worked perfectly together. Do you 
feel that you and Monte were working that 

DD: Monte was a straight "time" player. I 
could move around the set and I had a 
pretty good knowledge of that kind of 
playing. I think every drummer goes 
through a period of overplaying. That was 
my overplaying period. I look back on it 
now and say, "You were playing about 
eight times more than you needed to!" 

SF: No wonder Monte left. 

DD: We never really did sit down and work 
drum parts out. Monte wasn't into solo¬ 
ing, so we couldn't really do the drum bat¬ 
tle thing. If you've got two guys that are of 
comparable ability that are into the same 
things, you can probably do something 
like that real well. Like Butch and Jaimoe, 
and Keith Knudsen and Chet McCracken. 
They do it real well. 

When I first started learning how to 
play, I sat around playing to Dave Brubeck 
records, and listened to Joe Morello and 
Buddy Rich. Monte learned how to play 
from listening to, like, Charlie Watts, and 
there's nothing wrong with that. Monte is 
a good, steady timekeeper. I studied with a 
a couple of different people, mainly Mark 

Morris in Nashville. He did percussion 
work on the last two Allman Brothers 
albums. I probably learned more from him 
than any teacher I had other than myself. 
Just about everything I've done over the 
last ten years has been self taught. I've 
taught myself more through trial and error 
than I've learned from any other teacher. 
Mark Morris is a very competent percus¬ 
sionist. He plays with symphony orches¬ 
tras, he plays tympani, and he can read 

SF: Does he play drumset? 

DD: Yeah. He taught me to read, although 
at the time, I hated it. I was not interested 
so it was a struggle just to get to the next 
lesson. It was like, "Sit down and work 
this crap out," just so I could play it right 
and not be embarrassed when the teacher 
came. I didn't realize how much it would 
do for my playing if I'd taken it more seri¬ 
ously. Now I know! When we're on the 
road it's hard to find practice time, so it's 
good for me to get out the Morris Golden- 
berg book, for example, and start going 
through that to refresh my memory. I'm 
getting my reading back together to where 
I can move onto some of the more compli¬ 
cated stuff. Then a tour break will come, 
I'll go home and put the book away, and 
forget about trying to polish up on read¬ 

SF: There's the school of thought that if 
your interest is in playing backbeat mate¬ 
rial, why hassle with learning jazz and 

DD: That's true. You don't have to, but 
any extra time spent other than actual 
playing with the band is bound to benefit 
you. It may not benefit you within the con¬ 
fines of what you're doing. You wouldn't 
think it's going to help me with The Out¬ 
laws to sit with a book trying to learn a 
snare drum piece. But, it improves your 
time and your technique. Even though you 
may never play anything near as difficult 
as what's written on the paper, it's going to 
help you. It's going to filter through. Let's 
put it this way: It doesn't hurt! As to how 
much good it does—that would vary from 
drummer to drummer. 

SF: Did you ever get a chance to play jazz? 
DD: I ve always wanted to and I know I 
can, but I've never actually played a jazz 
gig. From playing in Vegas with different 
lounge groups I had quite a bit of experi¬ 
ence playing swing. That was a lot of fun. 
I've played with a lot of different kinds of 

Photo by Fred Carneau 

bands. There was a show band I played 
with called Deep South. That was like a 
rock and roll show band and real interest¬ 
ing. I got to play everything from rock and 
roll to funk to jazz. But, I've never had the 
opportunity to work as a part of a jazz or 
jazz/rock group. Hopefully, one day I'll 
get the chance. 

But, I've got to do what's going to pay 
the bills, particularly because I have a fam¬ 
ily now. That makes a big difference. The 
traveling I was doing before The Outlaws 
was tougher. The Outlaws go out for three 
weeks and then we're home for ten days to 
two weeks. Before, I'd have to go out for 
eight or nine weeks at a time, and that's a 
long time to be away from home. I'm lucky 
my wife understands. The Outlaws was a 
blessing in that respect. Even though I'm 
away more total days in a year, it is broken 
up into smaller segments. 

SF: Can you take your family on the road 
with you? 

DD: I could. My wife doesn't travel with 
me, number one, because she holds down a 
full time job of her own. And now that we 
have the baby, I don't think the guys 

would appreciate it too much. I think the 
dirty diapers would get to them! 

SF: Do you play any instruments other 
than drumset? 

DD: About three months ago I decided I 
was going to take guitar lessons. It's some¬ 
thing I've always wanted to do. I've been 
taking lessons but it's coming very slow. 
I'm just approaching it as a hobby, hoping 
one day I'll get good enough to where I 
may be able to write, or at least be able to 
play for my own enjoyment. 

SF: What is your contribution to the 
albums? Let's use Ghost Riders as an 

DD: I'm not a writer. To write songs you 
have to write lyrics or music, and to write 
music you have to play something melodic. 
Lyrics is a whole different story. I think 
lyrics are harder to write than music. I try 
to contribute ideas towards arrangements 
and the feel of the songs. We might be 
working on something and I'll think of 
how it would sound with a different feel or 
tempo. The next day I'll present it to the 
band. A lot of times we'll end up changing 
a tune completely just from a suggestion 

like that. That's about all I can contribute 
in that respect. 

SF: Are you still playing double bass 

DD: Yeah. When Monte left the band I 
decided to give it a try. 

SF: You never played double bass drums 
prior to that? 

DD: No. 

SF: You must've had a few rough nights! 
DD: Oh yeah! Initially I didn't try to incor¬ 
porate it into what I was already doing. I 
wanted to incorporate them into my solo. 
I'd start from there and still ... I use 
them very sparingly. It's a very fine line 
between tastefully playing what needs to 
be there, and sounding like a guy that just 
went out and bought an extra bass drum 
and wants to use it desperately! Before I 
used two bass drums I thought it was stu¬ 
pid that guys who did use them played 
nothing but "dugga-dugga-dugga- 
dugga." That was until I got two bass 
drums and tried to do it myself! You've 
really got to learn to do that before you can 
take it any further. 

SF: You record with double bass drums? 

DD: Yeah. There's two ways to use them: 
Within the time figure that you're playing 
or with fills. I want to work them into my 
fills by starting off with simple things like 
ruffs, and gradually moving to where 
they're more a part of the fills until I can 
use both bass drums within the time frame¬ 
work of what I'm playing. So far, the 
opportunity hasn't presented itself. On 
Ghost Riders I think there's only one small 
fill where I use the second bass drum. But, 
I tell the producer I might decide to use it 
on something so put a mic' on it. 

SF: Do you have any role models for dou¬ 
ble bass drum playing? 

DD: Tommy Aldridge is the first guy that 
really impressed me. Pat Travers was on 
one of our tours so Tommy and I got to be 
real good friends. I'd watch him every 
night do some amazing stuff. I'd ask him 
for things to work on. He said, "Man, I 
don't know. I really don't know." He's 
just one of those kind of players. He just 
knows what he knows. He doesn't really 
know how to get it across to anybody else. 

Louie Bellson was the pioneer in that 
sort of thing. I haven't heard Billy 
Cobham live in a while, but he doesn't use 
them as much as I thought he would. He 
has a lot more room to use them in the 
music he plays than he does. Simon Phil¬ 
lips is really good, too. 

SF: Do you have trouble hearing your bass 
drums onstage? 

DD: I use my own mixing board right next 
to me. I was tired of trying to wave or sig¬ 
nal at soundmen/monitor guys to say, 
"More snare! Less kick! Put the toms in!" 
That's impossible. I like the idea of having 
control over it. 

SF: So you have the option of having 
everyone in the band coming through your 

DD: If I want. Some nights I can hear 
everything onstage and other nights I can't 
even hear myself. Other nights it's the 
opposite. It all depends on the hall. If 
you've got your own mix it's so much sim¬ 
pler. When I first joined the band I was 
used to playing in bars and lounges. The 
volume of this band was incredible! When 
I tried to use monitors, that only seemed to 
add to the confusion. For a long time I 
didn't use monitors at all. I just got 
stronger and played harder. For a while I 
had a headphone mix. I liked that but felt 
like I was too removed from the rest of the 

SF: What did you hear in the headphones? 
DD: Usually I'd have the whole drumset, 
probably bass guitar and one or two of the 
guitars. No vocals. I don't even listen to 
vocals onstage. 

SF: That seems strange. 

DD: Usually I can hear enough of the 
vocals from their sidefills and individual 
monitors to know where I am. I find it eas¬ 
ier to concentrate on what I'm doing with¬ 
out the vocal in there. 

SF: Who do you listen for mostly? 

DD: Bass and usually Hughie. He's the 
easiest for me to hear. I try to key on every¬ 
body, but mostly the bass player. 

SF: How is it different with Harvey and 
Rick's bass playing? 

DD: Harvey's a good bass player, but I 
prefer Rick. Rick comes from the same 
background as me. He's played in a lot of 
different kinds of bands, different kinds of 
music, and he's capable of adapting to any 
kind of musical situation. Harvey was a 
rock bass player. That was it. Then 
again ... we play rock! But, Rick seems 
to lay in that pocket. We both like a lot of 
the same things musically, so we hear and 
feel things a lot alike. 

SF: The Outlaws have been through sev¬ 
eral personnel changes. What are some key 
things you look for when you replace a 

DD: Someone's adaptability to our thing. 
You want to have somebody who wants it 
and is not doing it just for the gig or the 
money. You want somebody who's into it. 
SF: How did it affect The Outlaws going 
from using a single drummer, to two 
drummers, and then back to a single drum¬ 

DD: They were a little bit apprehensive 
about it at first. 

SF: Did they try to replace Monte? 

DD: Well, that was the original plan. But, 
at the time Monte left we were winding 
down a tour and only had a few dates left. 
It would've meant getting together in 

Tampa, Florida to rehearse to break in a 
new guy. I knew that if they'd just give me 
a chance it would be better in the long run 
if they just kept it with one drummer. 

SF: Who decided to use two drummers? 
The guitar players? 

DD: Yeah. At the time they added me they 
wanted to get more of a powerhouse band 
going. I needed the gig so I wasn't asking 
any questions! I was glad to have it. The 
first couple of gigs we did it was real 
strange for everybody, simply because 
they were having to focus on one drum¬ 
mer. But after seven to ten shows it started 
to click and it got much tighter. Everything 
was smoother, tighter, and it worked out 
better all around. I was very mentally pre¬ 
pared for the situation when it happened. 
When Monte left I thought, "Alright. 
Here's your chance. Don't blow it." I 
think they were a little bit surprised that it 
went as well as it did with just one guy. 

SF: I would think that with all the mic's on 
the drumset they could just turn the drums 
up if they were looking for sheer volume. 
DD: Without Monte there was a definite 
loss in the presence of the drums. But, it 
was quickly made up, I assure you! 

SF: How are The Outlaws different today 
than they were in 1977 when you first 

DD: This combination of people is the best 
the band's ever had, not only in terms of 
playing ability, but also in being able to get 
along personality-wise. There's a cohesive¬ 
ness now that was not there four years ago. 
The band's just playing more together. 

SF: What kind of personal commitment 
does it take to put together a band like The 

DD: I guess it depends on what you want 
out of it. The band is a well-known band 
and it is successful, but there's still a long 
way to go. I feel like we're really just start¬ 
ing to realize our full potential. So, the last 
thing you want to do is blow it with wine, 
women, song or whatever! I'd like to think 


I've been serious—but I want to get more 

SF: Now you're in the thick of a successful 
band. How is it different than you imag¬ 
ined it would be when you were fourteen or 

DD: When I was fourteen or fifteen I 
thought it would never happen. It wasn't 
that I didn't have any confidence in 
myself. When you're that age, or even 
twenty years old playing lounges and bars, 
and you have musicians that you idolize 
and emulate, you think, "Damn. I'll never 
get there." 

SF: Who were you idolizing? 

DD: I like everybody from John Bonham 
to Buddy Rich, David Garibaldi, John 
Guerin, Steve Gadd, Harvey Mason, and 
Michael Walden. JeffPorcaro is one of the 
best rock drummers I've ever heard 
because he's inventive. With most rock 
drummers there's no color and not a whole 
lot of finesse. I mean, there's more to do 
than just play steady time! It's good that 
somebody like Porcaro came along who, 
when he plays with Toto is a rock drummer 
in every sense of the word, but he's very 
innovative about it at the same time. 

For the most part, record producers 
don't like drummers who can play. It poses 
more of a challenge to them. They want a 
guy to sit back there and play a good back- 

SF: Do you get that when you're in the stu¬ 

DD: Yeah. We did an album called Playing 
To Win produced by Mutt Lang. He's 
done AC/DC and Foreigner. Their drum¬ 
mers basically play time. They really don't 
like to do things with the band. At the time 
I was kind of brash and there was a lot of 
stuff I wanted to try. Mutt didn't want to 
hear about it. In the end it worked out 
good. You get in the studio and you've got 
all these ideas and want to get them on 
tape, but you realize after a while that 
there's only so much you can put down. 
Again, you get into the fine line between 
showing off and playing with the band. I 
can look back on that and see that I was 
trying to do too much, maybe. But my 
intentions were good! Now I know how to 
go about getting what I want to do with a 
band. I don't want to be just another col¬ 
orless rock drummer. It doesn't have to be 
that way. 

SF: Yeah, there are a few of those out 
there, aren't there? 

DD: Yeah. If that's all I was interested in, I 
wouldn't waste time practicing. To just 
play the good old solid backbeat, you 
don't need to practice. 

SF: When you record an album, what's the 
line between the artist and the producer in 
deciding what songs will go on the album? 
DD: With us, that's been a running battle. 
The bigger the band, the more artistic con¬ 
trol they have. That's only natural, I guess. 
On Ghost Riders we had two different pro¬ 
ducers. The project was started by Ron 
Nevison. He let us have a lot of freedom as 
far as what we wanted to play. He figured, 
"These guys are the players. They should 
be competent enough to know what works 
and what doesn't." He would not come to 
me and say, "Don't use that fill there. 
Don't use that lick," unless it was some¬ 
thing really bad. He'd give you a chance to 
work with the idea and get it right. 

Gary Lyons finished the album and 
mixed it. He also produced the newest 
album Los Hombres Malo. He's the type 
of guy that will give you a certain amount 
of freedom. If a producer respects the 
musicians and their ability—he'll give you 
room to work. 

SF: Does a producer choose songs? 
"Ghost Riders In The Sky" is a pretty tra¬ 
ditional pop song. Who decided to record 

DD: Everytime we'd go into the studio, 
Hughie would play that. Nevison was the 
first guy that let us try it. We fooled 
around with it for a few days. The hardest 
thing was getting the feel for it. At first we 
wanted to do it instrumentally and real up. 
You know how the song ends on the 
album? That was how we were going to do 
the whole thing, but that didn't work. 
Somehow we fell into the groove we used 
and it worked out real good. My point is: 
Where other people laughed at us with the 
idea—Ron didn't. He said, "If you get it 
right it'll be a mother!" As it turned 
out ... it was! 

SF: From a fan's perspective, do you think 

it changes things when old members leave a 
band and new ones are added? 

DD: There's always going to be people that 
ask, "What happened to Henry Paul? 
What happened to Monte Yoho? Why did 
Harvey leave?" At the same time, if what 
you've done is an improvement, it's just 
bound to work out. The Eagles went 
through some personnel changes. It cer¬ 
tainly didn't hurt them at all when Bernie 
Leadon left and Joe Walsh joined. Or 
when Randy Meisner left and Timothy 
Schmidt came in to play bass. 

There's always going to be a certain 
amount of people who lose interest in the 
band because their favorite person is not 
there anymore. But, if the change is for the 
best musically — it's going to pay off for 
you. All the personnel changes we've been 
through have all turned out for the best. 
We've still got to do a lot of the material 
from those first albums because that's The 
Outlaws. At the same time, we've got a dif¬ 
ferent bunch of people together and we 
want to take that into a direction also. 
We're trying to get a balance. You can only 
ride an old horse for so long. "Green Grass 
and High Tides" will always be part of the 
band's set, but we don't want to be a "one- 
song" band. 

SF: I see a large percentage of rock audi¬ 
ences who come to concerts to party, 
almost like the music is secondary. Do you 
ever look at an audience like that and wish 
they could just be there for the sake of lis¬ 
tening to your music? 

DD: That was hard to come to grips with 
because I'd have nights where I'd play 
atrocious. Just terrible. And these fans 
would say, "God, man! You were just 
cooking and kicking ass, man. That was 
great! "Then when you play something on 
a good night, something really brilliant, 
nobody says anything! That doesn't 
bother me anymore. If you play medio¬ 
cre ... okay. To your fans it may still 

continued on page 102 





Story and Photos by Wyn Sargent 

Trinidad, a tiny speck in the emerald- 
green Caribbean, said to be the most cos¬ 
mopolitan of the islands, was responsible 
for adding the fourth dimension of steel to 
the conventional orchestrations of strings, 
woodwinds and brass. What the people 
finally made they called "pans." But it 
was not without a lot of hard work and 

During the days of slavery, the two 
major groups of people that made up the 
Trinidadians were the slaves from Africa 
and the East Indian immigrants. The 
slaves brought with them the Shango 
drums from the Yoruba and Mandingo 
tribes in Africa. The East Indians brought 
a percussion instrument rather like a bottle 
and spoon. 

Nearly from the beginning, the Trinidad 
authorities confiscated the drums and 
banned their use under penalty of death. It 
was believed that the drums were responsi¬ 
ble for the spontaneous rioting which 
occurred at dance festivals and that they 
encouraged rebellion among the blacks 
and even provided the means of their secret 

The "tamboo-bamboo" replaced the 

native African drum because bamboo was 
plentiful on the island. The instrument was 
easily made and had the additional advan¬ 
tage of being a handy weapon in a surprise 
combat. Strictly speaking, the "tamboo- 
bamboo" was called a "stamping tube." 
Tubes of different lengths of bamboo were 
knocked together to produce a compelling 
rhythm and a variety of tones. To this 
commentary was added the stamping of 
bare feet and the chants of the slaves. 

The inevitable happened in the early 
1920s, long after the days of slavery had 
passed: the use of all bamboo for musical 
instruments was suddenly outlawed. The 
long bamboo tubes were all too frequently 
wielded as clubs and arms at the carnival 
Trinidad sponsors each year and too many 
people were seriously injured, if not actu¬ 
ally killed, by them. 

The drummers then focused on devising 
instruments from iron bars and metal 
tubes which proved worse. In turn the situ¬ 
ation led to tumult and resulted in a legal 
ban on this form of music. Things looked 

In 1930 there was an event called the 
East Indian Hosian Festival and it caught 

the attention of the drum-loving Trinidad¬ 
ians. Elaborately decorated tamples of 
bamboo and colored paper were paraded 
through the streets of Port-Of-Spain to the 
accompaniment of drums—drums that 
were not prohibited: the barrel drum 
which was played with the hands and the 
small kettle drum which was played with 
two sticks. Of course, there was also the 
inevitable East Indian bottle and spoon. 

The drummers, whose drums had been 
prohibited by law, were inspired with an 
intuitive skill that still amazes musicolo¬ 
gists. They began to contrive new instru¬ 
ments out of all kinds of junk: gas tanks, 
pots, frying pans, biscuit tins, garbage-pail 
lids and anything else they could lay their 
hands on to beat out their soul music. 
These instruments, along with the Shango 
drum and "tamboo bamboo," were the 
forerunners of the modern steel drum. 

These drummers worked with such dili¬ 
gence that surely they must have surprised 
themselves. If a garbage pail lid worked, 
why wouldn't a whole oil drum work bet¬ 
ter? And, because oil was exported from 
Trinidad, there were a lot of barrels 



It wasn't too long before the resonance 
of these fifty-five-gallon drums was being 
controlled. The bung end of the drum was 
cut off at various heights and the flat sur¬ 
face of this portion was then stretched with 
an eighteen-pound hammer into a concave 
surface. The drum-makers found that 
when they hit the drumhead, the sounds 
varied from low tones at the thickest part 
of the metal near the outer rim to very high 
tones on the thinnest segment of the metal 
in the center. 

A scale could actually be produced by 
banging on the surface from the outside to 
the inside. With a little thought and plan¬ 
ning it wasn't too long before the single 
tenor and double tenor drums came into 

To construct a double tenor drum, the 
22 1/2" diameter bung end is cut off at a 
seven-inch height. After the flat surface 
has been stretched with a sledge hammer to 
a depth of seven inches, the exact center of 
the drum is determined. Smaller hammers 
are then used to sink and smooth the drum¬ 
head. A rod is placed across the top and the 
concavity is measured for absolute eve- 

The face is then divided into quarters 
and a circle is drawn two and one-half 
inches from the rim. Another circle is 
made approximately four to six inches 
below the first circle to designate the place¬ 
ment of the notes. Two inner circles are 
then drawn three to four inches apart. A 
single three-inch circle is placed dead-cen¬ 
ter to accommodate a single note. 

The drum is turned over and the notes 
are pounded into the metal bottom in cir¬ 
cles and squares within the guidelines of 
the inner circles with a small, two-pound 
hammer. This is an intricate business 
because the upward curvature from the 
underside and the degree of the curvature 
governs the pitch of the note. 

The arrangement of the notes in the dou¬ 
ble tenor drums conform to a general 
standard and the lay-out does not usually 
vary. The placement of the notes themsel¬ 
ves is determined by their tones and the size 
of the area available in each quarter of the 
drum. For example, "F" is the lowest note 
and occupies a rather large space near the 
outer rim. The number of notes in a pan 
varies from four in a bass drum to twenty- 
eight in a single tenor drum. 

A center punch is then used on the drum¬ 
head to groove the notes. Grooving is an 
extremely important and sometimes deli¬ 
cate process as the depth and placement of 
the grooves removes the overtones and 
enhances the harmonics. Sometimes the 
circles and squares in which the notes are 
placed are outlined in paint. 

The notes are then randomly and loosely 
tuned with the aid of a pitch pipe, piano or 

Contrary to public opinion, the process 
of burning the drums is not a profession- 

Double Tenor Pans: Notes are always 
placed in the same position on all double 
tenor pans. Repeated notes are one octave 

Joseph Boyce checks the location of notes 
to determine the proper hanging of the 

Joseph Boyce, performing with the Coco- 
Cola Steel Band. 



ally or jealously guarded secret. The drums 
are simply set on fire for the purpose of 
burning off the old oil deposits and for 
tempering the steel. The notes are then 
tuned to concert pitch with a small ham¬ 
mer. Car wax and muriatic acid diluted 
with water are used to clean and polish the 
drumheads and the rims are often painted 
to the taste of the owner. 

The construction of these instruments is 
a highly skillful undertaking and the 
craftsmen themselves are as respected for 
their ability as their counterparts in drum 
making in other parts of the world. 

Basically, there are four different types 
of pans: tenor, treble, alto and bass. The 
single tenor is the treble pan often called 
"ping pong" and the double tenor (backed 
up by double seconds in a steelband) is 
known as the "cellopan." The guitar pans 
are alto drums and often called "double 
guitars" or "double gitas." The "triple 
gitas" involve three pans and also play the 
alto. The deep tones come from four big 
drums composed of the tenor bass and the 
"boom," the bass of six drums. The drum¬ 
mers, known as "pan mans," have other 
names for their instruments: tenor kittle 
(sic), tune booms, second pans, piano 
pans, and it seems that every day sees a new 
name coming along. 

The pans are played by beating them 
with homemade fir pine sticks whose ends 
have been wound with strips of soft rubber 
cut from gloves. The ends of the rubber are 
loose, simply tucked inside, and are likely 
to fly apart at any time during a perform¬ 
ance. Thus, a good pan man is never with¬ 
out an extra pair of sticks projecting from 
his hip pocket. 

In tone the steel drum resembles a cross 
between a harpsichord, a clarion, an organ 
and the mellow sound of the marimba. The 
vibrant percussive effects which the steel 
drummers coax from these pans present a 
wide spectrum of music ranging from tra¬ 
ditional calypso to concert arrangements 
of Beethoven, Mozart and Bach and are as 
impressive as on more conventional instru¬ 

In the beginning, several steel drummers 
got together and they called themselves a 
steel band. They played at hotels, in night¬ 
clubs and dance halls for the acrobatic 
antics of the limbo dancers who writhed 
under a low horizontal bar, supine, with¬ 
out touching the floor. They also accom¬ 
panied the fire eater who moved briskly 
over the stage consuming hot flames with 
mouth and body. 

After 1945, the steel bands became the 
rage throughout the West Indies and, 
within the decade, beyond to America and 
Europe. A steel band may number from 
two to one-hundred drummers, with one 
or more pans played by each individual. In 
the annual Carnival competition, the 
"Panorama," from which the individual 
instrument derives its name "pan," the 

Coco-Cola Steel band with double gitas on 
the left. 

Double set of tune booms withfour drums 
to each set. 

Herbie Nelson, an enthusiastic contribu¬ 
tor to the "new sound" taking place in 
steel band music today. 

steel bands have nearly 1,000 people in 
each competing band. The leader decides 
upon the theme of the band whether topi¬ 
cal, demons, bats, historical, whatever, 
and the costumes are made up. On Carni¬ 
val Monday the competing steel bands 
march up to the Savannah in Port-of- 
Spain-to the Judges' stand with the hopes 
of winning the year's championship. 

Today, the steel drums are eminently 
respectable and recognized as distinctive 
West Indian instruments of music. And, 
making music is a part of life in the Island 
of the Caribbean. An uncanny sense of 
rhythm and tone guides the steel drum 
players and their pans to become the sym¬ 
bol of irrepressible vitality of the islands. 

Pan and pan man, both, certainly have 
earned their rights to shine brightly in the 
island sun. 


Ricky Chase is a double tenor pan man 
from Barbados. The first time Ricky heard 
a steel pan played, he was mesmerized. He 
promptly stole his mother's favorite frying 
pan and, with hammer in hand, beat out a 
full scale on it. Unfortunately, there was 
no room for sharps or flats. His mother, he 
remembers, was furious with him and beat 
the dickens out of him. 

Ricky went on to acquire a "real pan," 
taught himself how to play it and in the 
1960 competitions, he arranged music for 
the competing steel bands. 

In 1965, in the Barbados competition, 
Ricky was leader of the "West Stars" and 
won the national championship. 

Ricky became Barbados's chief musical 
arranger for steel band music and 
remained so until 1975 when the Royal 
Caribbean Cruise Lines contracted him to 
be their star entertainer. For two years 
Ricky helped carry the new and fascinating 
musical art to the United States and to 
European travelers. 

Joseph Boyce recently took the steel 
drum sound to the Adriatic Sea and the 
Mediterranean aboard the Costa's cruise 
ship, the "Enrico C." Joseph, like Ricky, 
makes his own drums in the back garden of 
his home and he is currently making his 
own sound, along with several of his peers. 
The orthodox method of playing music 
according to traditional arrangements is 
fast disappearing and new sounds are 
beginning to peel out over the island. The 
sound is a whole new concept and style in 
which each player has his alloted time 
interval to interpret whatever he hears in 
his head to the accompaniment of the oth¬ 
ers. One is reminded of the beginning of 
New Orleans jazz. There are daring 
attempts to consolidate flourishes of triads 
and harmonics in a single measure or two, 
for example. It's fun music, relaxed and 
unstructured, and makes for great listen¬ 




Richard Adelman 
Carmine Appice 
Mike Baird 
John Barbetta 
Gerard Baudiy 
Hal Blaine 
Josef Blocker 
Mike Botts 
Tferry Bozzio 
Barry Brandt 
Clyde Brooks 
Denny Campbell 
Evan Caplan 
L. Nduga Chancier 
Lynn Coulter 
Bill Curtis 
Merline deFranco 
Les DeMerle 
Will Dower 

Graham Edge 
Phil Ehart 
Geoff Eyre 
Barry Frost 
James. E. Gadson 
Jim Ganduglia 
Ty Grimes 
John Guerin 
Bobbye Hall 
Dave Hanlon 
John Hartman 
Kat Hendriske 
Jim Keltner 
Keith Knudsen 
Russ Kunkel 
Willie Leacox 
Paul Leim 
Andre Lewis 
Larrie Londin 

Derek Longmuir 
Shep Lonsdale 
Ralph MacDonald 
Gary Mallaber 
Ed Mann 
Shelly Manne 
Jerry Marotta 
Rick Marotta 
Chet McCracken 
Allen Meyers 
James Monroe 
Barry Morgan 
Mark Morris 
Cubby O’Brien 
Derek Pellicci 
Jeff Porcaro 
Raymond Pounds 
Dan Pueillo 
Dave Robinson 

Tferril Santiel 
Steve Schaeffer 
Adam Shendal 
Alan Schwartzberg 
Danny Seraphine 
Kelly Shanahan 
Michael Shrieve 
Thevor Spencer 
Mike Stefans 
Mark Stevens 
Alvin Taylor 
Chester Thompson 
Ed TUduri 
Dickie Tbrrach 
Jan Uvena 
Joe Vitale 
Pete Vranes 
Lennie White 
Art Wood 

by George Marsh 

Exploring Self-Awareness 

Since my interview appeared in Modem 
Drummer, I have had many requests to 
elaborate on some of the topics that were 
covered only briefly at that time. 

Most drummers I have talked to have 
some form of body tension they would like 
to be rid of. They want to be more in con¬ 
trol of how they feel from day to day, but 
instead, they find themselves relaxed one 
day and "out of sorts" on another. They 
do not want to rely on drugs or alcohol for 
temporary relief and the possible creation 
of an addiction problem. I myself, had to 
face the fact that I didn't feel as comfort¬ 
able as I would have liked behind the 
drums. About ten years ago, I started on a 
search to help myself become a better 
drummer. The answer was to become more 
aware of my body while playing. The 
drumset, after all, is a total body instru¬ 
ment. You use all four limbs, your heart, 
and your intellect. If you are not in excel¬ 
lent shape in all areas, it becomes apparent 
very quickly because the drumset is like a 
gauge of one's overall good health. 

What I found, was when I learned how 
to relax properly, my playing improved 
dramatically. My time feel became more 
solid, my ability to memorize patterns 
increased and my melodic sense flowered. 
I discovered that relaxation was the most 
important rudiment of all! Relaxation is 
the rudiment of rudiments! This was just 
the beginning, however, because I took it 
upon myself to relearn the drums using 
principles I had learned from the study of 
T'ai chi ch'uan. T'ai chi is a Chinese mar¬ 
tial art that has fluidity of movement and 
openess of all the joints as a principle part 
of its technique. A T'ai chi master can 


release tremendous amounts of energy and 
never tighten up. He uses the force of the 
opponent and is able to match any move of 
an opponent because he adheres closely to 
him. He becomes one with the opponent. 

I had first-hand experience with these 
principles during my study with Robert 
Amacker, a T'ai chi master from San 
Francisco. He showed me that power does 
not come from tightening, but rather from 
connectedness throughout the whole 
body. Connectedness comes from feeling 
an openness and suppleness in all the 
joints. Tightness brings about disconnect¬ 
edness. So I started all over again learning 
how to do a simple basic drum stroke, 
making sure I didn't tighten in the ful¬ 
crum, or the shoulder, or anywhere that 
wasn't absolutely necessary. Staying 
loose, and connected to the stick, allowed 
me to use the force of gravity on the down 
stroke and to receive the energy on the up 
stroke via the rebound. Meanwhile, by 
continuing my study, I was learning not 
only T'ai chi, but correct posture. 

Every drummer that has come to me 
with a desire to improve his playing, has 
had poor posture at the drumset. When 
you look at the various drums in front of 
you as you play, the natural tendency is to 
crane the neck forward. This causes a 
roundness of the shoulders and a curving 
of the spine. This bad posture is very famil¬ 
iar to most drummers. The problem is how 
to sit so this doesn't happen and what to do 
if it does. If you try to sit straight, by tight¬ 
ening the neck and holding up the chest, 
this quickly becomes tiring and you soon 
slump back down again. If you stay in the 
slumped position, the shoulders develop 

Fig. 2 

aches, the back hurts, and the breathing is 
shallow. To keep the torso in its most open 
and energetic position you must, first of 
all, concentrate on the lower back and the 
hip joints. A simple exercise to facilitate 
correct posture is to roll forward on the sit 
bones, not the waist (Fig. 1). Then roll 
back on the sit bones as if to exaggerate 
bad posture (Fig. 2). Having experienced 
both the extreme forward and the extreme 
backward position on the sit bones, pro¬ 
ceed to find that place in the middle which 
seems most balanced (Fig. 3). The feeling 
should be one of naturalness and ease 
when you are balanced. The tendency to 
slump back into bad posture will have to be 
observed, and when that happens, all you 
need to do is repeat the simple exercise out¬ 
lined in Figs. 1, 2, and 3. 

An important point to consider is that 
the lower spine should be slightly concave, 
thus allowing the vertabrae to stack cor¬ 
rectly for a relaxed upright posture. The 
feeling should be that the lower torso, both 
the belly and the lower back, are very 
relaxed. It feels like you are one of those 
beach toys that's weighted on the bottom 
and always pops up if it is knocked down. 
This new feeling of balance will point out 
the need to re-adjust the position of your 
cymbals and drums. Do it! Remember, 
don't adjust your posture to fit the drum- 
set—adjust the drums and cymbals to 
accommodate your relaxed and open pos¬ 

I am very interested in hearing from 
you. Address your correspondence to 
George Marsh, 256 Mullen, San Fran¬ 
cisco, CA 94110. t 

Fig. 3 




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by Nick Forte 

Whole Notes 

Half Notes 



In the most common time signature, 4/4, a whole note (or rest) 
occupies an entire measure. In the case of a half note (or rest), it 
takes two to occupy an entire measure. Example #1 lists all the note 
values covered thus far in this course. 


The "p", "mf" and "f" markings may be expanded to both 
softer and louder extremes. A "pp" (pianissimo) marking is taken 
to mean two times softer than "p". The "ppp" marking is three 
times softer than "p". The "mp" marking indicates a volume level 
a bit louder than "p". The "ff (fortissimo) marking is taken to 
mean twice the volume of "f". The "fff" marking is three times 
louder than T. From the softest to the loudest, the markings 
listed above would be in the following order: ppp-pp-p-mp-mf-f- 



In the last lesson you practiced playing thirty-second notes in the 
form of a long roll for one complete measure. That same measure 
may also be written in an abbreviated way using a whole note with 
three slashes indicating that 32 thirty-second notes are to be played 
in the form of a roll. A half note may also have three slashes, 
indicating that 16 thirty-second notes are to be played in the time of 
the original half note's duration. 


half n 
quarter d 

eighth # 




sixteenth # # i 


=3=5 J =Tn 


,-777<rh~ f *77fT?r.Jr?T, 


Drummers often fall into the habit of relating notes of any value 
with the short-duration drum sound. To illustrate this, let's 
assume you have two measures to play. The first measure has a 
whole note; the second measure has a half note followed by a half¬ 
note rest. On a snare drum, each measure would sound the same. 
Consider, however, how a wind player would treat the same two 
measures. In the first measure, he would maintain the sound until 
just before the first beat of the second measure. In the second 
measure, he would stop the sound just before the third beat. It is 
important for drummers to understand this because some of the 
drummer's instruments (such as cymbals and Koto-Toms) are 
capable of sustaining a sound. On a cymbal, for instance, a quarter 
note is not the same as an eighth note followed by an eighth rest. 



If there is a note on the third beat of the bar, the half note roll 
would continue to that 3rd beat/count. 

This makes the roll seventeen strokes in all. A half-note roll may 
also begin on the third beat of a bar and end on the first beat of the 
next measure. 

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Charlie Watt#, Rotting Stone# F Ibny WilliamDrummer 

fj etween Charlie Watts and Tbny Wiliams, there’s 
about 40 years of sets, from laid-back to blistering 
M ^... all of them on Gretsch. Both Watts and Williams 
have brought their own unique styles and brands of 
improvisation to music we’ve grown up with, and it looks 
as though their inventiveness and consistently inspired 
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In a business where the competition is fierce and 
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j * 

by Roy Bums 

Drum Books and Learning 

Do drum books really help? Can you get 
ideas from books? Can you develop feel¬ 
ing by practicing the material in drum 

These are serious and valid questions 
that come up often in the minds of young 
drummers. Confusion is often created 
when well-known drummers who have not 
studied attempt to answer these questions 
in interviews, clinics or whatever. 

Human beings tend to put down what 
they have not experienced. Ask a high 
school drop-out if college has any value? 
He will usually explain why he feels college 
is not needed. 

However, if you ask the same question 
of someone who has attended college, he 
will usually give you a different answer. In 
most cases, he will give a balanced answer, 
citing good and bad points of his college 

Do drum books really help ? It depends 
on the area in which you need help. Drum 
books should provide technical advice, 
practice material and an understanding of 
the fundamentals of music. Many books 
specialize in one area such as reading, rudi¬ 
ments, solos, duets, drumset practice and 

A book is as good or bad as the person 
using it, including the teacher, as well as 
the student. Each person brings his own 
experience and understanding to each 
book. Since our experiences vary greatly, 
our opinions of certain books vary accord- 

Attitude is also important. If you prac¬ 
tice through a book with an open mind, 
expecting to find something of value, 
chances are you will. However, if you go 


Ettfly ckmi and shines dtrcy cymbali- 
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through the same book with the attitude, 
"it's probably a dumb book anyway," you 
most likely won't find anything you can 

Can you get ideas from books? The 
answer is definitely yes. You might get an 
idea on tuning, muffling, reading, or learn 
some new rhythms. 

A drum book is not a substitute for 
being creative. A good book will give you 
examples to learn and practice. Once 
you've gained what you can from practic¬ 
ing the examples in a book, you have to go 
out and play with other musicians. 

If you are afraid to play or sit-in with 
other musicians, then your learning stops 
at that point. No amount of practice and 
no amount of books can replace the experi¬ 
ence of playing music in a group. 

Good books are written to help prepare 
the young student for the playing experi¬ 
ence. Books written by authors who do not 
have this goal in mind fall into the category 
of "busy work." An example of this type 
of book would be 10,000 Ways to Play 
Paradiddles. Who cares? You will never be 
asked to play any of these variations in a 
professional situation anyway. 

Can you develop feeling by practicing 
the material in drum books? This ques¬ 
tion, although asked often at clinics, is 
usually not a question at all. It is a defen¬ 
sive statement about feeling and playing. I 
do not believe books are intended to 
develop feeling. Your feeling is developed 
by listening, practicing and playing as well 
as the people you play with. This is why 
musicians seek out other good musicians. 
They learn from each other while playing 

What can drum books do for you ? 
Books can make certain ideas, skills and 
rhythms visible. This allows you to create a 
picture in your mind as you hear them. 
This visualizing of rhythms takes some of 


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the mystery out of unusual or highly com¬ 
plex patterns, and makes learning easier 
and faster. 

Books can present material in an orga¬ 
nized manner which makes it possible to 
learn quickly and thoroughly. On a hit or 
miss basis, the same material could take 
years to cover. 

Good books save you the time of seeking 
and organizing material for yourself. 
Books can keep you going if you are in an 
isolated area where good teachers may be 
hard to come by. They can serve as an 
inspiration. Buying a new book can stimu¬ 
late you to practice new patterns and new 
ideas. Practicing out of a number of books 
helps to keep practicing interesting and 
fun. Practicing one book over and over 
relentlessly can bore even the most dedi¬ 
cated student. 

Various music magazines also contain a 
wide variety of information for drummers. 
How you use that information is up to you. 
Usually, if a drummer agrees with an 
article, he says the magazine is great. If he 
disagrees with an article, there is the temp¬ 
tation to put down the entire magazine. 
Evaluate each article on its own merit and 
be open-minded. 

Learning can be accomplished in a num¬ 
ber of ways. Drum lessons and drum 
books are one aspect of learning, along 
with listening, playing, practicing and 
reading music books and magazines. Why 
not learn from everything? Don't cut your¬ 
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is learned is really more important than 
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OI lice of the Dean 

Dear Me. Speclori 

I wanted to make an opportunity (o tell you how much 1 appre¬ 
ciate the work you have done with Mr. R—■„ a student in the Col¬ 
lege. The College is designed for highly motive led under j 
graduates who work in a variety oi academic areas r including 
I he performing arls, compute i sciencE, pr£-]aw, pre-medic te-e, 
envirunmentat studie£ and le host at olhers. Mr. R i s on e studon 1 
who h.OM jrtddy very possible use ol the liexibilLly he has in the 
College. I remain box the day he ca mo with iheidea lode an inde¬ 
pendent study with a percussion instructor in New York and 1 q do 
Shis study through the mail using audio tapes. 1 mu&t admit that J 
was somewhat skeptical about both the content and the method of 
whul ho was proposing, but alter having converse bans with him 
and with Mr, S—^„ the Director of ihe University Jazz Ensemble, I 
decided 1 o approve ihis unusual project Jot academic credit. As 
I i me p roq rested and Mr. R — slid red w i t El m Q C he v oiuminou S COI - 
respondence he was having with yOu, and With KOpOrtB bom Ml. 
E— about the remarkable progress thal Mr. R— was making, I 
became convinced: that Ihis is one of the beet cut-ot-class team¬ 
ing experiences that any of our student* have had. 

The most talented, creative, mature, and ambitious 
drummers throughout America and the Free World are 
learning an entirely new way and attitude in their daily 
study at the drum set. The astonishing news is that 
such an electrified study through our drum set home 
study course on cassettes is more personal than sitting 
in the same room with the conventional teacher. How 
can you qualify? Fill out the coupon below. 

We employ a variety of teaching techniques, many cl which 
include sludemu working away from campus and being super¬ 
vised by project directors and faculty at eome distance- After 
observing Mr. R— r s experience and having an opportunity to 
reed LiuougJi the correspondence Lhat you have exchanged over 
the past months, IbehevE that ihe technique you have developed 
i& one of the best used aitywhei#. You have demonstrated that a 
stipe a vise i can monitor the content of an experience and give ap¬ 
propriate critiques while main lam mg a high level of rigor and 
quality m the absence uJ direct: surveilance. 

Desr Mr Sped or 

i vjhs^i i'll fettle youi uiiinniicr^ry 
ol n pnn h-nur i n Llrurtl^riul CUE- 
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All ml this islo tell you how impressed lam with this project and 
with your involvement with Mr, R—. I want to express my appre¬ 
ciation for the work and lime you have given lo this on Inland mg 
and deserving student r 

Carbon copies to: Sincerelyj 

Mr Ft— 

Ml . S— ‘ Signal ure of I he Dea n 

The student involved received four ocodemp'c ciWiteo y&or, 

A copy □/ ih* letter with theiuJi identification ofine Unrversrty and CeW- 
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Paulinho Da Costa 

by Michael Rozek 

Over the last two years, Rio-born 
Paulinho Da Costa has probably appeared 
on more record albums than any other 
musician extant—over 300 different LP's, 
in all. Andyet, as the "seasoning” on hit 
tracks by countless superstars (including 
Rod Stewart, George Benson, The Car¬ 
penters, Quincy Jones, Earth, Wind & 
Fire, Michael Jackson, The Commodores, 
Kenny Rogers and scores of others), the 
thirty-four-year-old percussionist's real 
genius is truly known only to the Los 
Angeles producers who clamor to have 
him work on their projects. "The average 
person doesn't hear that much of what I 
play," says Da Costa, who's been 
freelancing in LA. since 1976, "but I'm 
absolutely a part of the record. " Exactly; 
and with that in mind, the following MD 
interview gives readers a clear look at the 
unique value of his contributions—and the 
very special kind of drummer who plays 

MR Where did you grow up and begin 
playing music? 

PDC: I was born in Rio De Janiero in 
1948. Eventually, I became part of the 
local Escola de Samba, which is like a club 
the whole neighborhood belongs to. A 
"club" may have 15,000 people in it, and 
its main purpose is to compete at Carnival. 
Each year, you all dance in a parade, past a 
reviewing stand, and perform some bit of 
history, a scene or a story, from the past of 
your town. And it has to be perfect—espe¬ 
cially in the music, the rhythm, which has 
to follow the story exactly. For the com¬ 
posers in the club, it's like writing a little 
movie score. 

MR I used to think the Escola de Samba 
was a school. Doesn't "escola" mean 
"school" in Brazilian? 

PDC: Literally, it does. I even have Ameri¬ 
can friends that have flown to Brazil to 
enroll in the "samba school," to learn 
samba, (laughs) But of course, there isn't 
any such "school." 

MR What role did you play in your 

PDC: I played pandiero, starting when I 
was seven or eight years old. Over here, 
people call it "tambourine." And I 
learned on the street; there weren't any 

books. Once a year, there was a festival of 
all the street players, all the very good 
older guys. And I'd come over and join in. 
I wouldn't know if I was good or not, I'd 
just play. And one old guy finally said to 
me, "Hey, kid, come over here. You're 
good. You could be very good." And, I 
was eager to learn. So, he told me to go 
home and ask my father to buy me a better 
quality pandiero, and then come back to 
see him. And when I did, after the first 
day, he told me I'd be part of one of the big 
escolas in two or three months. 

MR What kind of things did he teach you? 
PDC He told me, first to always hold the 
pandiero with my left hand, because that 
gives you the balance for doing things with 
it. And to keep my middle finger held on 
the skin, so that it controls the two notes 
you can play—changing the pitch. My 
right hand is the hitting hand, like for a 
tom sound, and my left hand should con¬ 
trol the shaking, which gives the hi-hat 
sound, while the middle finger is going, 
changing all the time. Then, you can use 
the ball of your palm and your other four 
fingers for different effects. It's like hav¬ 
ing a little set of traps in your hand. 

MR How did you use all this in the Escola 
de Samba ? 

PDC: You fit into what everybody else is 
doing. The escola is huge; much bigger 
than a line of marchers in New Orleans. 
Like, you have one line of twenty huge 
bass drums: ten hitting one beat and, 
across from them, ten hitting another beat. 
Together, it's like a 2/4 bass line—boom 
boom, boom boom. And then, there's 
another line of fifty large, floor-type toms. 
They play a sixteen, between the two and 
four of the bass drums. Then, a line of 
small toms plays a groove like a triangle— 

eighths, sixteenths, whatever. Then, 
there's another line of about one hundred 
snare drums, just like an American march¬ 
ing band, playing a rolling, fast sixteen. 
Then, the front lines: one hundred agogo 
players, a line of cuicas, and the pandieros. 
And then, the best drummers from each 
section are up front in their own section, 
each playing the beat their individual sec¬ 
tions play. This is where I was. And 
finally, there's the conductor. No one fol¬ 
lows any written music, but instead they 
follow him. He blows a whistle, and five 
hundred or a thousand musicians start, 
stop, or change together. And that's where 
the whistle you sometimes hear percus¬ 
sionists play on records comes from. It's 
not used for the same reason, of course, 
but people like the sound. 

MR What led you to come to America? 
PDC: I traveled a lot in Europe and South 
America, playing with dancers. I even 
went to Russia. And my name became well 
known all around Brazil. Finally, though I 
hadn't really planned on leaving, when 
Sergio Mendes asked me to join Brazil 
'66—this was in 1973—I came here. It was 
the first time I had ever been part of a 
group. In Brazil, the percussionists were 
the group. 

MR How long did you play with Mendes? 
PDC: Three years, and it was very good 
exposure for me. I just did what I'd always 
done, as part of Sergio's show—playing all 
my instruments, fitting in—and the audi¬ 
ences loved it. People kept writing all these 
nice reviews; musicians would come up 
after the show and ask me to play on their 
records. But I couldn't, because I had a 
contract with Sergio. Finally, I decided to 
leave, and thankfully, enough people still 
remembered me. When I was free to work, 
continued on page 44 



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the calls began to come in. Pretty soon, I 
was overwhelmed with jobs. I had no idea 
that so many people were aware of me. 
MR What were some of your first gigs? 
PDC: I'd done a couple of albums with 
Sergio, of course. But my first session was 
for The Miracles—the single, "Love 
Machine." And then Dizzy Gillespie saw 
me play. He loves percussion, and so he 
wanted me to do one of his Pablo albums. 
That led to my own deal with them; Nor¬ 
man Granz has really been a wonderful 
friend to me. (Note: Da Costa's two Pablo 
LPs are Agora and Happy People.) And 

that got me a lot more exposure. 

MR: Let's talk about exactly what you do 
at a session or what you contribute to a 

PDC: First of all, when people call, they 
often don't know all of what I play. So, I 
have cartage for all my stuff—six Anvil 
cases full, plus my congas—because I 
never know what I'll need. Sometimes the 
thing they ask for won't work, so I'll have 
to try something else. And then, I'm the 
type of player who doesn't like to overplay 
or show off, so I need just the right sound 
for each job. 

MR: Can you talk about some of the dates 
you've done and tracks you've worked on? 
How about the Yellowjackets LP (Warner 

PDC: (Producer) Tommy Li Puma called 
me for that because I had worked for him 
on a Neil Larsen album. And Ricky Law- 
son, the drummer in Yellowjackets, is a 
friend of mine, and I really like the way he 
plays. So Tommy just said to listen to the 
tape, and put in whatever I thought was 
right. Which was no problem, because 
Ricky has great time, yet he knows how to 
put the funk in a different place, too. He 
leaves me enough room to do what I have 
to do. On this one track, "Hornets," I 
started just with a combination of pan- 
diero and agogo bells, and congas, and 
then a shaker. I did all this on one take 
except the bells, which I overdubbed the 
second time, just filling up the spaces in the 
track. And that's usually the way I work. I 
come in after everything else is recorded. I 
only do a little work in live situations now. 
MR How about something the opposite of 
Yellowjackets—let's say, The Carpenters? 
PDC: Richard Carpenter, the producer, 
must have known me from other records, 
so he called me to do their album, Made in 
America. And we cut a lot of the tracks 
live. On "Those Good Old Dreams," 
which is real light and bouncy, with a 
country feeling, I play tambourine, then I 
disappear, then I come back. You know, 
some guys play too much, and the pro¬ 
ducer winds up mixing it down; but I like 
to play less right, than more wrong. And 
Karen Carpenter is singing, so I'm quiet. I 
listen to lyrics too! 

MR How many takes for you on this 

PDC: One. I never usually need more than 

MR: How about playing very busy—where 
it's easy to lose what you do on the car 
radio, but if you weren’t doing it, there'd 
be a big hole? 

PDC: Maybe some things for Teena 
Marie—like one hit she had ["I'm Talkin' 
Love"; you can barely hear Da Costa 
amidst the production], I'm playing a lot 
of stuff—just slappin' stuff around: bon¬ 
gos, congas, cowbells, anything I want to 
do. On The Emotions' Rejoice, I play 
spoons on that. Maybe a lot of people 
never heard spoons, but they're there, and 
now I get calls for spoons all the time. 

MR: How about rock and roll? Have you 
played any lately? 

PDC: Sure. Good music is good music. I 
don't want people to call me just for Bra¬ 
zilian things. Rod Stewart saw me and 
liked my playing, so I worked on his last 
two albums. 

MR: There doesn't seem to be anything 
you can't do. 

PDC: The thing to remember is that if you 
listen to a lot of other percussionists, they 
would sound the same on every session 

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they did. But I don't want to impose 
myself in that way. I just want to make the 
record sound good. 

MR: Let's talk about your equipment. 
What do you have exactly, in those six 

PDC: Maybe five hundred instruments; 
maybe even more than that. I have a lot of 
Brazilian instruments: berimbou, agogo 
bells, different shakers, an afuche, which 
is called a cabasa in Cuba, cuica, reco- 
reco, surdo, all kinds of fry pans, metal 
plates, bell trees, cymbals, some timbales, 
whistles, bells, sticks, and even some toys 
that make certain sounds, such as rubber 
horns and a blank pistol. It's how you use 
each of them. I have five slapsticks, with 
different tones, depending on the wood in 
each, or I can get a certain tone from a 
cowbell if I hold it against my chest. And I 
have four kinds of congas, for four differ¬ 
ent grooves. And the fry pans can give you 
great sounds, too. Some have a higher 
pitch and ring more, with a higher range, 
and they're great when you want an inter¬ 
val to last for four bars. 

MR: Even with all your equipment, do you 
ever come up dry when you're looking for 
a certain effect? 

PDC: Not really. Sometimes I will go 
through the whole case, though. And then, 
people don't call me for weird effects— 
they want me for playing grooves. 

MR: Any particular brands of equipment 
you like? 

PDC: I don't do endorsements. I play 
what I like, and besides, I make some of 
it—the sticks, for example. But nothing I 
use is cheap, and it always sounds right. To 
know what sounds right, you have to listen 
to and play all brands. Because the sound 
is what you're looking for—not the brand! 
I mean, sometimes I play three different 
cowbells at once. And if I did an endorse¬ 
ment, then I couldn't be free to use what¬ 
ever sounded good to me. But, a lot of cats 
sure want to know what I play! I've been 
followed to sessions a lot lately. Percus¬ 
sionists sneak into dates to see what and 
how I play. I'm getting real tired of it. It 
ruins my concentration when I have to give 
lessons in the middle of a job. 

MR Do you play differently in concert? 
PDC: I've really only toured in Japan, 
with some all-star groups. And there, 
whatever sound equipment they have is the 
best. But in the studio, for example, I'll 
put my drums on a flat piece of wood; it 
gives a more resonant, acoustic sound, to 
my ear. Live, since it's open acoustically, I 
can maybe play harder and louder. In the 
studio, I'll use less arm power and more 

MR Do you play traps? 

PDC: A little bit, only for fun in my house. 
But I know my limits. Too many drum¬ 

mers can't find work, so they try to double 
on percussion. 

MR Do you practice? 

PDC: I don't have too much chance to 
practice, but I'd like to. Just for my 

MR How would someone learn to become 
a good percussionist? 

PDC: I think most young percussionists 
overplay—and maybe this is because they 
think they're too good, too fast. I mean, 
I'm still learning. So take your time and let 
others tell you you're ready. But mean¬ 
while, play all kinds of music, every chance 
you get. And also, I get every record I play 
on. I listen and I learn a lot. 

MR: Why, after all is said and done, do 
you think you work so much? 

PDC: I' m always on time—always fifteen 
or twenty minutes early, in fact (laughs). 

MR But, seriously, what's the secret of 
Paulinho Da Costa's success? 

PDC: I play from the inside, with my 
heart. Sometimes, I'll get something writ¬ 
ten out to play, but then I'll do it again— 
just with my heart. I learned this way. I 
come from playing on the street, where 
feeling is the main thing. But, I listen to 
what people want, too. And producers, 
when they talk to me, they always tell me I 
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Watts continued from page 12 

ing a quarter pulse on hi-hat, while pulling 
a variety of colors from his cymbals. As 
always, Charlie produced exactly what the 
music called for. 

In 75, Ron Wood replaced Taylor, and 
because Wood plays so much like 
Richards, the group has leaned more heav¬ 
ily on basic rock. One notable influence of 
the last few years has been reggae, and 
again, Charlie has successfully mastered 
the style. 

When asked what bass player Bill 
Wyman thinks gives the Stones their char¬ 
acteristic sound, he answered in Guitar 
Player (Dec., 1978): We have a very tight 
sound for a band that swings, but in 
amongst that tight sound, it's very ragged 
as well. Every rock and roll band follows 
the drummer, right? If the drummer slows 
down, the band slows down with him or 
speeds up when he does. That's just the 
way it works—except for our band. Our 
band does not follow the drummer; our 
drummer follows the rhythm guitarist, 
who is Keith Richards. Immediately 
you've got something like a l/100th of a 
second delay between the guitar and Char¬ 
lie's lovely drumming. Now, I'm not put¬ 
ting Charlie down in any way for doing 
this, but on stage, you have to follow 
Keith ... So with Charlie following 
Keith, you have that very minute delay. 
Add to that the fact that I tend to antici¬ 
pate a bit because I kind of know what 
Keith's going to do. So that puts me that 
split second ahead of Keith. When you 
actually hear that, it seems to just pulse. 
You know it's tight because we're making 
stops and starts and it is in time—but it 
isn't as well. Sometimes the whole thing 
can reverse. Charlie will begin to anticipate 
and I'll fall behind, but the net result is that 
loose type of pulse that goes between 
Keith, Charlie and me. 

"(It began) probably as a matter of per¬ 
sonality. Keith is a very confident and 
stubborn player, so he usually thinks 
someone else has made a mistake. Maybe 
you'll play halfway through a solo and 
find that Keith has turned the time around. 
He'll drop a half- or quarter-bar some¬ 
where, and suddenly Charlie's playing on 
the beat, instead of on the backbeat—and 
Keith will not change back. He will dog¬ 
gedly continue until the band changes to 
adapt to him. He knows in general that 
we're following him, so he doesn't care if 
he changes the beat around or isn't really 
aware of it. He's quite amusing like that. 
Sometimes Keith will be playing along, 
and suddenly he becomes aware that Char¬ 
lie's playing on the beat, and he'll turn 
around and point like, 'Aha, gotcha!' and 
Charlie will be so surprised and suddenly 
realize he's on the beat for some reason, 
and he hasn't changed at all. And then 
he'll be very uptight to get back in, because 
it's very hard for a drummer to swap the 
beat. So it's a mite funny sometimes, but it 

does happen, especially on the intros. 
Some of the intros are quite samey sound¬ 
ing. I mean, if you're doing a riff on one 
chord with the inflections that Keith uses, 
and you're not hearing too well with the 
screaming crowds, you cannot tell if you 
are coming in on or off the beat. 'Street 
Fighting Man' is a tune that tends to hap¬ 
pen on. He's got monitors, but in those cir¬ 
cumstances it's very difficult to hear 
accents—the difference between the soft 
and hard strokes. The problem is that 
Charlie is often totally unaware that he's 
on the wrong beat, and he shuts his eyes 
and pulls his mouth up, you know, and 
he's gone. You can't even catch his eyes 
because they're closed. Someone has to go 
up and kick the cymbal. I don't think that 
happens too often with other bands. But I 
think that's a little of the charm of the 
Stones. They're not infallible, and we 
know that. Everybody else might as well 
know it, too." 

In Guitar Player (11/77), Keith 
Richards said he plays off of Charlie's 
accents. "We tend to play very much 
together. I have to hear Charlie and I think 
he has to hear me. I love playing with 
Charlie; he knocks me out every time. 
Sometimes I don't see him for six months 
or so, and we get together and he's better 
every time. He must practice so much." 

"I do practice every day if I'm not play¬ 
ing," Charlie told me. "I sit and watch tel¬ 
evision and practice. I never did that when 
I was a kid, so I have to do it now. I've 
learned more about what I'm doing now 
than I did then." 

As far as the recording end of it, Charlie 
explains, "We don't lay tracks. We always 
play as a band. We very rarely overdub 
drums and bass and such. I have all and 
nothing, as far as creative choice, which 
means, I just sit there and play the song. 
Mick or Keith will say, 'No, that's horri¬ 
ble,' and I think, 'Yeah, it is horrible and 
all I should do is nothing; just play.' You 
can't play like Max Roach over 'Jumpin' 
Jack Flash,' so you just sit and say, 
'You're right.' And then I'll do something 
and they'll say, 'That's great, keep doing 
that.' So it's all or nothing. I have as much 
say as anyone in what I do. 

"A lot of the recording end for me is the 
engineer and mixer, which is often Mick. 
It's the engineer who makes my drum 
sound amazing. I don't do anything other 
than I do on a bad night and he makes 
them sound great while I just do the same 
thing. I never tune drums. It's one of the 
blind spots I have. I just hit them. 

"I'm fortunate that I don't really have 
to stake a claim on anything because the 
claim has already been made just by every¬ 
one being there. It is what it is, with or 
without me, but it happens to be with me. I 
don't really have to make a point of mak¬ 
ing my impression. I don't ever think of it 
that way. I'll say the drums should be 
continued on page 48 



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louder or that sort of thing, but if someone 
says, 'No, they're too loud,' I don't really 
care. I don't really have that sort of mind 
to carry the songs through either. I can't 
stand mixing. I stay around for it, but I 
can't stand it. It's boring and bloody hard 
work as well. I guess I don't understand it 

When I mention how much more pre¬ 
dominant the drums have been on recent 
recordings, he laughs, "The drums are 
awfully loud, aren't they? They make it 
sound like more than I am, but I've always 
been loud." 

Charlie has always preferred Gretsch 
drums, although the first set his dad 
bought him was a Ludwig, which he used 
on the album he did with Rocket '88. He 
keeps his Gretsch set to the bare essentials, 
however, with just four drums, about 
which he says, "I don't use the tom-toms 
much. I'm not a virtuoso, you see. I just 
try to play the rhythm. I can't take fills and 
I can't play four-bar breaks and all that, 
but what I do I try to make as fine as I can 
make it. Oh yeah, I get it on occasion," he 
adds modestly, "But to play like Frank 
Butler ... I don't have that finesse and I 
never will ever have it in my life. That's 
something else, and that, to me, is a drum¬ 

After twenty years, Charlie maintains a 
simple attitude about performing live and 
playing with the same people. "Every gig is 
neither bad or good. I always want it to be 
better than the last one. It's never the same 
any night. Even if you play a cocktail 
lounge or a Bar Mitzvah every night. It's 
never the same, really. You play 'Hava 
Nagila,' and I've done that, and it's never 
the same. If you do that four times a week, 
you get a good 'Hava Nagila' or a bad one, 
whatever band you're in. Sure, I'm sure if 
you've done eighteen Bar Mitzvahs in a 
row, it can get the same. I've done about 
four of them. But the songs we do now are 
never the same. Of course, in some ways it 
is, it's all three chords and all I play is two 
and four, but really, it's never the same to 
play them. I just want to get to the end of it 
and make it as good as it can be. If people 
have trouble keeping it fresh every night, 
then they can't like the people they're with 
or the music they're playing. It's probably 

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"I hate touring and I hate going on the 
road and my first reaction to this last tour 
was, 'How the hell can I go out there at 
forty years of age and do that?' I didn't 
think people would turn up to see it, but 
they did. I don't think they really see me, 
though. They see the whole thing and I'm 
lucky enough to be part of it. I'd love to 
play in a lounge with a trio, but this band, I 
think, is one of the best and it can't be beat 
at what it is and I'm lucky enough to be 
involved in that. But I'm only as good as 
the next gig I do. That's how I've always 
seen it and I think the band is only as good 
as the next gig it does. With the accolades 
and everything, it's very easy to sort of get 
comfortable. It's a lovely thing to have, 
but it doesn't really mean anything. It's 
your next stop that is important and then 
the next one. And you just try to enjoy 
yourself while you're doing it. But you 
don't get the accolades if you're crap, so 
that's what I mean about this band— 
they're damn good and I don't care if peo¬ 
ple say they're noisy. They are noisy. They 
make my ears hurt," he laughs. "But 
they're bloody good at being noisy and 
they're bloody good at whatever they do. 
What I try to do is make it better and I try 
and help out the best that I can. 

"Musicians are the most selfish people 
in the world, actually," he states. "The 
world revolves around them and all you 
live for is that two hours on stage and 
that's all they have. A painter or a drafts¬ 
man can work any time. It can be for five 
minutes or for a year. With musicians, it's 
also a closed shop. They're the most 
unwelcoming people, really. I'm not say¬ 
ing that they're not nice people or intelli¬ 
gent, but it's what they do. They aren't the 
most open of people. I think it's their atti¬ 
tude and I don't think it's ever going to 
change. So much for philosophy. 

"As far as playing with the same people 
all the time, it's no different than playing 
with others. I think Bill Wyman is an 
incredible bass player. Some people don't 
know what he's doing, really, but it's 
right. You don't really hear him actually 
half the time, or I don't, but he's right and 
very rarely wrong. He's very comfortable 
to play with. I've never really sat and lis¬ 
tened to the bass, though. We don't sit and 
work out rhythm patterns or anything like 
that like some bands do. He plays to a song 
that Mick writes and I do the same thing 
and it just fits. He plays with other drum¬ 
mers too, that are fantastic players, actu¬ 
ally, like I play with others. Bill is very 
comfortable, but Jack Bruce is comfort¬ 
able to me too. Anyone who plays well is 
comfortable. Pete Townsend is comfort¬ 
able to play with. I'm not saying he's better 
or worse to play with than Keith, but he's 
comfortable also." 

About his projects outside the Stones 
such as Rocket '88 and the recording with 
Nicky Hopkins and Bob Hall, he says, 

"They're just fun, aren't they? The play¬ 
ing is no different, really. It's another gig, 
isn't it? That's all and you have to do that 
one as best you can also. You just play. 
They're all exciting. Rocket '88 is great 
because it has four saxophone players, a 
trumpet and it's lovely. It's a different 
thing to play and it has a different sort of 
quality of playing. I don't mean good or 
bad, just different. It's great in its way and 
it's fun for me to do, but it will never be 
that magic that happens. I have a great 
time with them, though. 

"I had a wonderful experience not too 
long ago in London when I played with a 
band and the saxophone player was Eddie 
Vinson and it was the most wonderful 
thing I've ever done. It was amazing and 
that guy is incredible. But you have to be as 
good as Steve Gadd to really cut it if you're 
in that market. Luckily I've never been a 
market player. I've always played with a 

While that fact has been Watts' security, 
he stresses that the public has become too 
secure with the likes of the Stones and 
there is a tremendous need for some new 
music on the scene. 

"I thought this band would be together 
for five years. I don't want to leave them or 
anything, but after five years, I thought, 
"Great, ten years, okay." But it's gone on 
and on and on. For me, it's wonderful, but 
I'm just saying that I'd like to hear some 
more power. I still love Benny Goodman, 
even though music has changed, so it 
doesn't have to take away from what 
exists, but there needs to be something 
new. Eighteen-year olds must play some¬ 
thing other than Chuck Berry because it's 
been done. You've got to have something 
for yourself. It's got to happen. I don't see 
it yet, and I don't know why, but it's going 
on and on like this. We've been going for 
twenty-five years and kids are still copying 
us and the Beatles after all these years. 
Honestly, there's got to be something to it 
and I hope to God there is. It's wonderful, 
but there's just got to be something else. It 
won't take away from what we are because 
we'll still be the same. 

"I love this band, but it doesn't mean 
everything to me. I always think this band 
is going to fold up all the time—I really do. 
I never thought it would last five minutes, 
but I figured I'd live that five minutes to 
the hilt because I love them. They're bigger 
than I am if you really want to know. I 
admire them, I like them as friends, I argue 
with them and I love them. They're part of 
my life and they've been part of my life for 
a lot of years now. I don't really care if it 
stops, though, quite honestly. I don't care 
if I retire now, but I don't know what I'd 
do if I stopped doing this," he ponders. 
"I'd go mad." 

Quotes from Guitar Player copyright GPI Publica¬ 
tions. Reprinted with permission. 



Mick Avory 

Barriemore Barlow 

Alvino Bennett 

Terry Bozzio 

Gerry Brown 

Bill Bruford 

Carl Burnett 

Roy Bums 

Denny Carmassi 

Leon "Ndugu" Chancier 

Jim Chapin 

Norman Connors 

Stewart Copeland 

Mark Craney 

Jack Dejohnette 

Michael Derosier 
Bobby Durham 
Joe English 
Sherman Ferguson 
Mick Fleetwood 
Steve Forman 
A1 Foster 
David Garibaldi 
Bruce Gary 
Dan Gottlieb 
Myron Grombacher 
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Jim Keltner 

Simon Kirke 
Craig Krampf 
Nick Mason 
Bill Meeker 
Marty Morell 
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Rod Morgenstein 
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Phil Rudd 
Bill Severance 
Gina Shock 
Michael Shrieve 
Tony Smith 
Willy Smith 
Dallas Taylor 
Roger Taylor 
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Ed Thigpen 
Chester Thompson 
Alex Van Halen 
Charlie Watts 
Pick Withers 
Roy Yeager 



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Watts continued from page 13 

bly ten times simpler than I am—if they 
call rock simple—but to me it isn't. To be 
able to play as slow as A1 Jackson is almost 
impossible. As much as I love Joe 
Morello—he couldn't do it. I know he's 
not the same person, but with all that Joe's 
got, it's still another thing. 

MW: A1 Jackson is my favorite. Nobody 
can play like him. 

CW: Another drummer who's quite bril¬ 
liant is Jerry Allison. He used to play with 
Buddy Holly and The Crickets. He's prob¬ 
ably the best "song" player that I know. 
He doesn't really play the drums—he plays 
the songs, and that is really more impor¬ 
tant within the context of that music. If 
you're playing to a songwriter, that's 
much more important than having all the 
technique in the world. But Jerry's got an 
awful lot of technique. 

MW: You're right. If you're using tech¬ 
nique to show off in a song, you'll proba¬ 
bly screw it up. Our arrangements are three 
or four minutes long and the drumset is 
supportive. You build a structure under¬ 
neath the song. 

CW: I don't think that's any different for 
what Max Roach or Buddy Rich do, really. 
I suppose with what they call "jazz" there 
seems to be more room somehow. I don't 
know quite where that room is, but there 
seems to be more room in jazz for using 


CW: Yeah. I mean, you can't just stop and 
suddenly do an Elvin Jones, or the whole 
band will wonder what's going on! But, in 
jazz you can suddenly play triple time and 
everybody else moves around that. When 
the Bill Evans trio with Paul Motian 
worked, the rhythm would just go around 
in little circles of no time, sort of. It always 
did. That, I suppose, is the most extreme 
example of what I could use against the 
strictness of a disco tune, for instance. 

SF: Don't you think that time quality had a 
lot to do with the calibre of the musicians 
in the Bill Evans Trio? 

CW: Yeah, that really is it, but the whole 
music evolved around that as well. That 
was part of it, wasn't it? Or should I say 
"7s it" because that music still exists. I 
mean, you don't really go to see a person's 
name; you go to see a person's playing. 7 
do, anyway. It doesn't matter to me if I go 
see Benny Goodman—who's supposed to 
be swing music—or Frank Zappa's band, 
which is supposed to be progressive rock. I 
go to see them. Obviously there are bands 
or musicians that you know what they do. 
If you see Santana you know it's going to 
be semi-Latin because that's what Carlos 
plays; that's what Carlos is! But, when I go 
and see him I don't really go and see 
"Latin Music At Its Best." I go and see 
Carlos play the guitar and I go see his band 
because I know they play good. 

I was a kid. I don't listen to one thing. 
Maybe I should've done that. I may have 
been better. 

MW: Do you feel you've missed anything? 
CW Maybe I should've stuck with one 
thing and just done that. You meet players 
who play in different styles, all as good as 
the other. 

MW: That's different. You have areal dis¬ 
tinct style. I saw The Stones opening night 
at The Meadowlands. I noticed you very 
rarely take your foot off the bass drum 
pedal. For me that's hard. I've always 
lifted my foot up, and sort of hit the bass 
drum real hard. I noticed your real ease. 
CW: I didn't know I did that. People say I 
play real loud. I don't, actually. I'm 
recorded loud and a lot of that is because 
we have good engineers. Mick knows what 
a good drum sound is as well, so that's part 
of the illusion really. Ican'tiplay loud. You 
can't play really loud if you play with a 
military grip because your hand . . . 

MW: You've got to keep it down. 

CW: I never really liked matched grip. 
There was only one guy I knew who used to 
play like that really well. Phil Seaman in 
England. He used to play drums in the late 
Fifties with a tymp style. He developed and 
could actually use both hands. He was fan¬ 
tastic to watch. He played a regular kit and 
had, inside of him, a natural thing that was 
him. But to watch him play matched grip 
like that—that was the way you should do 

Ginger Baker—who's a good friend of 
Phil's—could play like that, sort of. Gin¬ 
ger could shuffle as well as Phil with that 
tymp style, but they used to use their fin¬ 
gers and not their wrists. It's really hard, 
but Ginger developed such enormous 

MW: He was very loose with it? 

CW: Oh yeah. He was one of the best play¬ 
ers in England. He still is, actually. He just 
hasn't been with people who are as well 
known as the people he was with before. 
He still plays great. You never really lose 
that, do you? You just get "rusty" or 
whatever. Ginger hasn't. I'm just saying 
that getting "rusty" is all that happens. 
You don't really lose it. The main thing 
about a drummer—especially if you're a 
player like Ginger, who's a big guy and 
strong, like Elvin Jones— physically, 
drumming is quite exhausting. When you 
see someone like Kenny Clarke, someone 
in his sixties like Buddy Rich, who has an 
enormous amount of energy! Those two 
guys don't play in a little club and they 
don't starve. They don't play everything at 
half tempo. It's amazing physically. Even 
if you don't like what they do—physically 
it's quite incredible. To watch Buddy Rich 
work on that level, and for him to be in 
that sort of shape physically is quite amaz¬ 
ing: especially since he's done it all his life. 
It knocks you out, doesn't it? 

MW: I noticed at The Meadowlands that 

continued on page 52 

MW: The songs are really built more SF: Do you collect records? 

around musicians playing rather than for a CW: I've had a record collection ever since 




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you had to keep pulling your bass drum 
back because it kept sliding forward. 

CW: I always do that. I used to bang in 
nails in the front with me shoe. We used to 
play set up flat on the floor in a theater 
where everybody dances and they don't 
have risers or anything. Actually, I prefer 
to be on the floor, but then equipment 
starts moving. It depends on what the 
floor's made of. Sometimes you're playing 
with one foot trying to reach a bass drum 
that keeps slipping away, and that's the 
hardest thing in the world. The one thing I 
don't like about drum risers—especially if 
they get really high like the enormous one 
Ringo used to play on—when they get that 
big you can't see everybody else. I don't 
like that. 

MW: It's like being separated. 

CW: Yeah, I don't like that. Another thing 
is that the risers move! 

MW: They bounce! 

CW: Yeah. So, you'd be playing and four 
songs later your set is over here and you're 
sitting sideways! You end up playing like 
Billy Cobham which is totally different to 
the way I sit, right? But, Billy's got his 
stuff set for that position. But, all of the 
cymbals would start moving because of the 
vibrations. And the higher the risers get the 
worse they'd move. I don't care what they 
say. They build solid risers. You could 
cowpunch them and they won't move, but 
when the band starts playing and your feet 
start going, actually stomping on the 
floor—the risers move about. 

SF: How much rehearsal goes into a Roll¬ 
ing Stones show? Do you know what the 
sets are going to be before each tour? 

CW: We always work at least a month to 
six weeks before we go on the road, usually 
for something like eight to twelve hours a 
night. It took six weeks to do it this time. 
We just play virtually everything we know. 
You've got to remember that with our 
band the way it is now —this is not how it 
was when we first started. Now we don't 
work live sometimes for a year. Recording 
is different. We don't work sometimes for 
a year and a half or two years live. I often 
play live with another band. 

MW: Local bands where you live? 

CW: Sort of, but that's not the same thing 
anyway. With The Rolling Stones you 
keep your chops going, really. The 
rehearsals are to learn songs but it's also 
to ... well, the way I do it is just to get 
things together to play. I don't know. 

MW: Just to keep playing for two and a 
half hours. You did a pretty long show the 
other night. 

CW: Yeah we do a long show, I think. I 
think it's a bit too long, really. 

MW: I saw The Stones in 1975, 1969, and 
1965 in Newark, New Jersey, with the 
Vibrations, Patti LaBelle . . . 

CW: Oh, right. They were twenty-minute 
shots. That was real soul-review sort of 
stuff. That, to me, is how you should do 
rock and roll shows, really. 

MW: Exactly. 

SF: What? For twenty minutes? 

CW: Oh yeah. Lots of bands and two 
headliners. You just do twenty minutes 
and off. It's not because I don't want to 
play. But, for us ... me ... drum¬ 
mers ... to have to play two hours when 
it's good and emotional ... the other 
nights it's . . . 

MW: Work! 

CW: Yeah. And it's good for us to play 
two hours to look at. The old half-hour 
show is one of the strongest . . . well, 
you're doing all your best stuff in a half an 

SF: How long did The Stones play in 1965? 
CW: About twenty minutes! We used to 
do like two shows. That was how rock and 
roll was done in those days. It wasn't only 
rock and roll. That was how bands did 
shows in those days. The only thing wrong 
with it was that you were there all the time. 
The Apollo used to have four shows a day. 
You actually only played twenty minutes, 
but you had to hang about all day to play 
less than you do now for one show! But, 
you had to sit there and wait, or go out for 
coffee and come back. 

MW: It must be amazing for you, having 
been able to see how things have changed 
from 1963 to now. 

CW: It doesn't really change, actually. I 
think The Rolling Stones have gotten a lot 
better. An awful lot better, I think. A lot of 
people don't, but I think they have and to 
me that's gratifying. It's worth it. But 
apart from that, when you forget all this 
conversation about what cymbals you 
use—the weight of your cymbals is only 
how comfortable you feel. It has nothing 
to do with drum magazines or drumming, 
really. Do you know what I'm saying? 
When you're onstage drumming, no¬ 
body's saying, "He's just the best drum¬ 
mer in the world." There's about four peo¬ 
ple in the audience doing that. The other 
ninety thousand aren't looking up there. 
They're there to clap their hands and have 
a good time. 

MW: That's right. That takes that kind of 
pressure off. 

CW: It should be a lot of fun, really, 
shouldn't it? I think jazz should be a lot of 
fun as well. 

MW: Jazz sometimes gets a little too intel¬ 

CW: I don't mind it. Jazz is a beautiful 
circle. It's going around lots of times, 
banging away, you know. Really. But, 
that's because I love it. I love the sound of 
Clifford Brown. I just love the sound of 
Ornette Coleman, Sonny Rollins, Cole¬ 
man Hawkins. I just love the sound of 
those people. They happen to play jazz. 
Well, I just love the sound they make, and 
I did when I was a kid. For some reason, at 
twelve or thirteen, I just heard Gerry Mul¬ 
ligan and fell in love with that, whatever it 
was called. To buy a record you had to go 
through that little bin which was written: 

continued on page 54 

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"J-A-Z-Z." In England you couldn't buy 
lots of jazz records. 

SF: Wasn't it "Walkin'' Shoes" that you 
heard by Gerry Mulligan? 

CW: Yeah. 

SF: Chico Hamilton on drums. 

CW: He was the first guy I heard that made 
me play the drums. Him and Earl Bostic, 
which was when I was even younger. That 
was the first music that I thought was fan¬ 
tastic. I'd been brought up on Johnny Ray 
which I thought was great. I'd seen him 
and people like Billy Eckstine. All that. 
That was what my parents loved. But then 
to go into Earl Bostic—that was some¬ 
thing. Then I heard Fats Domino and that 
I loved. Then I missed Elvis and the rock 
and roll bit. I didn't deliberately do that. I 
just heard Gerry Mulligan and then Char¬ 
lie Parker. I fell in love with the music of 

MW: Because that's the music you were 
exposed to. 

CW: No! We had to gofind it. I just fell in 
love with the sound of it. I mean, I didn't 
know what the hell Charlie Parker was 
playing . . . I just liked the way he played. 
Then friends of mine played the records to 
younger guys who learned to play bass. 
And I'd play them things. Our block was 
really full of Duke Ellington and that sort 
of thing. We used to sit in people's houses 
and listen to that music all night, like 
"Mood Indigo." We would sort of sit 
there having a good time, a party, sitting 
around listening to "Mood Indigo" when 

we were like fourteen! It was really fantas¬ 
tic. Then we started going to clubs in Eng¬ 
land and we'd see guys. It was something 
that I always enjoyed. 

MW: Did you know Mick and Keith back 

CW: This was before I met them. I met 
Mick and Keith when I was in Alexis 
Koerner's band which was . . . 

MW: A blues band, right? 

CW: Yeah. We started in London. In those 
days in London you couldn't get in clubs 
unless you were a jazz band. Alexis got in 
because he used to sing and play with a jazz 
band. So his band got in on a duff night. 
Everyone that wanted to play harmonica 
and steel guitar—that sort of thing—used 
to come and watch us with Alexis and Cyril 
Davies. I knew Ginger Baker before then, 
but I met him through that band. 

MW: He played with Alexis, didn't he? 
CW: Yeah. I gave up that chair when he 
started playing because he was so good. 
Ginger was amazing at that time. What 
would that be? Very early Sixties. 

SF: Was he playing double bass drums at 
that time? 

CW: No. He had a homemade kit when I 
first met him. 

MW: When The Rolling Stones played The 
Ed Sullivan Shows, could you hear what 
you were playing? 

CW: When I did the Ed Sullivan Show you 
had to rehearse for about twelve hours and 
wait all through the show. You had to 
rehearse the whole show. You were there 

all day. I couldn't really hear what we were 
playing. They used to play with little amps. 
They never miked the drums. Mitch Mitch¬ 
ell was the first microphoned drummer I 
ever heard. 

MW: You never miked your drums? In all 
those big concerts you never had mic's on 
your drums? 

CW: No. 

SF: I saw a photo of The Beatles at their 
last concert in Candlestick Park. Ringo 
didn't have any mic's on his drums. 

CW: No, Ringo never had mic's. We did 
some concerts with The Beatles like when 
we'd win polls. Poll winners. We used to 
do the Albert Hall and a couple of other 
places. You couldn't hear anybody really, 
apart from the fact that everyone was 
screaming and shouting. I sat in the audi¬ 
ence and listened to The Beatles and 
watched them. We were playing purely 
acoustic drums. Completely acoustic. 

MW: Did you have to hit the drums very 

CW: I don't know. I don't really remem¬ 
ber if it was quite hard or not. I shouldn't 
think so. I don't know quite what the audi¬ 
ence heard! The music was never off time, 
but you couldn't really hear like you do 
now. You couldn't hear the bass drum and 
the hi-hat and all that. 

It's just that when you went into a Shea 
Stadium—which The Beatles did—they 
had the same amps! Jimi Hendrix is the 
first guy that I heard that had mic's for 
Mitchell's drums, and Jimi used to use a 
big stack of amplifiers. The Who did that 
as well, but Jimi was the first one I sat in an 
audience and heard with big amps and 
amplified drums. The only thing wrong 
with that was that it was so new, it used to 
break down after three numbers. Then 
they'd fix it. 

MW: Your drums sounded good the other 

CW: I can't hear if they sound good out 
front or not. 

MW: You don't know what it sounds like? 
CW: No. Nobody can really. I don't 
believe that you can actually, not while 
you're playing. 

MW: Not while you're playing. No. As 
long as you can hear the snare drum I don't 
care about anything else. I don't hit any¬ 
thing else! 

SF: Who do you listen to onstage, Charlie? 
CW: Keith. Keith and Mick. 

SF: Keith is amazing. 

CW: He's incredible. Keith is the start and 
the finish. I have to hear Mick, but I can 
follow Mick like lipsync almost if the mic' 
goes out. It's not as much fun, but I can do 
that. But, if I don't hear Keith, I get com¬ 
pletely lost in things. 

SF: You don't lock in with Bill too much? 
CW: No, because I've found that if you try 
and get everybody in your monitor ... I 
don't really need a monitor. 

SF: The bass guitar's not coming through 

continued on page 56 



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your monitor? 

CW: Yeah, I can hear it. But, I don't need 
to hear Bill to go through a song. I need to 
hear Keith to go through a song. I know 
Bill will be playing what I'm playing any¬ 
way. I need to hear Keith because it's all 
there: the time, the chord changes, and all 
the licks you have to follow. Usually I can 
hear the pianos, the saxophone, and usu¬ 
ally I can hear Ronnie. But, what you're 
asking me is who do I really need to listen 
to. It's Keith and Mick. The rest of the 
band is sort of an embellishment to that. 
SF: Are the arrangements such that the 
band can stretch out if you want to? 

CW: Usually, yeah. You memorize the 
end, but the length is done on cue. 

MW: Sometimes we play Bruce's songs too 
fast or too slow . . . 

CW: Yeah, well that happens with anyone 
that plays the same songs all the time, I 
think. You get fed up with it like that, 
don't you? Also, people wake up at differ¬ 
ent tempos than when they went to bed. 
Sometimes things are too slow and some¬ 
times things are too fast. 

MW: Do you prefer playing the newer 
songs or the older songs? 

CW: I don't mind, really, which it is. It's 
all new if you're playing it now. Sometimes 
with the old stuff—especially with a reper¬ 
toire as old as ours—you can't do the songs 
exactly like you did it originally, because 
you don't even play it like that anymore. If 
it changes for the better it's a new song. 
But, to actually play exactly like that is 

very difficult and sometimes you can be 
right or wrong trying to change it. 

It's a bit like when you hear Benny 
Goodman's band. For example, his early 
music is the most amazing sound when it's 
going. But, later on, his music got 
smoothed out a bit. That's not his fault; 
that's just how it developed. To try to play 
it like it was played with Gene Krupa and 
Jess Stacy—even if they were still in the 
band—I don't think it would be the same 
because it changes. So, you don't really 
hear the record you loved the same as the 
band plays it, because the musicians are 
different anyway. 

MW: So, you don't go back and say, "I 
like that lick. I think I'll try to ..." 

CW: Yeah. You try to, but they don't 
come out the same, do they? The grooves 
are different sometime. We play things 
different—not much—but they are a little 
bit different to make them totally differ¬ 
ent. They are totally different to play, but 
to listen to it, it's just a little bit different. 
That's the thing. 

I quite enjoy recording with this band. 
It's a lot of fun. I quite enjoy playing with 
other people though. But, I don't feel as 
comfortable, obviously, with other people 
as I do with this band. 

MW: Do you record with other groups? 
CW: A little bit. It's a lot of fun working 
with other people, isn't it? But, I suppose 
I'm most comfortable with this band. I 
enjoy it more. I did a record with Pete 
Townshend. I think it was his second solo 

album. That was an awful lot of fun. Just 
two days, and it was great. But, I would 
hate to do what Jim Keltner used to do, 
although I admire it an awful lot. I admire 
the facility Jim has, but I'd hate to just sit 
there and do that, and leave after three 
hours. When The Rolling Stones go in the 
studio it can be six hours or six days. You 
just swap it around as you feel you want it 
to. But, you don't have that kind of situa¬ 
tion as you would if you showed up, for 
example, to a Joni Mitchell session. I think 
she's very good, but that situation sort of 
closes this thing on you. 

MW: "Doit. Get it right, right now!" 

CW: No, I couldn't do it. Keltner can do 
that. I admire him an awful lot for that, 
apart from admiring him personally. He's 
a great player. I admire having that sort of 
facility, but I don't think I can do that. 
Mind you, I never had to ... luckily! 
MW: That's really the way I feel. I like 
being in a band, and I like playing with 
other people, but I don't like that studio 
pressure, although the people who do ses¬ 
sion work have their advantages. 

CW: I suppose after a while you get used to 
that, but it must be an awful thing to live. 
MW: Jim was saying to me in Los Angeles, 
"It's nice to be in a band. It must be nice to 
be in a band where you play with the same 
people for years and years." 

CW: Yes, because I think you become 
comfortable with people's greatness and 

MW: It seems like you get in the studio and 
it's . . . 

CW: It's money, ain't it? I don't see any¬ 
thing wrong with that life. I would think if 
you're doing it for a living ... I admire it 
an awful lot, the same way I admire tech¬ 
nique. It's an admiration I wouldn't really 
want for myself. It's too much on you. 

SF: You feel the pressure must be high? 
CW: Maybe it's only in your head. Maybe 
it's because I've never done it. I read how 
Steve Gadd doesn't even think about it. 
You often find that a lot of the studio 
musicians always play with the same guys 
anyway! There are bands that are stylists, 
so it's not like you're imagining it, really. I 
imagine turning up and having to do an 
Aretha Franklin session with a fourteen- 
piece orchestra! But, really it's like The 
Rolling Stones turning up and backing 
Aretha, as far as the friendship of the stu¬ 
dio musicians go. It must be more com¬ 
fortable than you imagine. But, to be a real 
outsider in it would scare ... oh, God! I 
couldn't do that. 

MW: I couldn't either. I don't have that 
much confidence in my playing. 

CW: Nor do I! I don't mind creeping into a 
session ocassionally. 

MW: Or, if I have a real bad night, it both¬ 
ers me that maybe I let someone down. 
CW: I wonder how you cope with that if 
you have a bad session? 

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Four more reasons for playing Yamaha System Drums. 

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MW: Well, I listen to the records I've 
made. Some tracks I don't like the way I 

CW: But they've been released haven't 
they? The session doesn't matter does it? 
It's strange. 

MW: Is there something you've played on 
that you listen to and don't like? 

CW: There's songs I don't like. There are 
songs that you think are great and songs 
that you think . . . 

MW: How about drum tracks where 
maybe you could've played better? 

CW: Well, I always think that. A lot of our 
tracks have sounded a lot better than I 
thought they would because of recording, 
mixing, and because I probably didn't hear 
it that way. I don't know. I'm not a song¬ 

SF: When you used to visit clubs did you 
ever speak with Max, Elvin, or any of 
those great drummers? 

CW: Not usually. I met an extremely good 
drummer, a very underrated guy, Mickey 
Roker. He's very good. I sort of met Billy 
Higgins. One of the biggest thrills of my 
life was when Tony Williams came up to 
me. He was playing with The Great Jazz 
Trio years ago. I hadn't seen Tony since he 
came to England when he was like eight¬ 

SF: With Miles Davis? 

CW: Yeah. As much as I love everybody 
else, Tony Williams is who I'd love to look 
like when I play, when he was with Miles. 
One of the biggest thrills of my life—Tony 
was playing at the Village Gate last year, 
and he came up and said hello to me. 

MW: Tony really loves rock drummers. 
CW: He's such a great guy. Another guy 
I've met and said hello to is Roy Haynes. 
He's a drummer that has never stopped 
growing in his mind. Shelly Manne's 
another. He's twenty-two, a kid! I don't 
mean a kid mentally— he's just such a 
young man. He's fantastic. I got intro¬ 
duced to Shelly through Jim Keltner when 
Shelly had Shelly's Manne-Hole. We used 
to go down a lot when The Stones were 
working and Jim was sessioning around. 
Shelly Manne is charming. Did you hear 
that stuff he used to do with the L.A. 4? 
Everything he's done—obviously he's 
going to say there are things he likes—but 
to me, all of that is something else! 

Joe Morello is the first guy I saw that 
was the prettiest player I'd ever seen in my 
life. I also loved Paul Desmond. I still do. 
He's the woman of the saxophone and 
that's not being detrimental. That's the 
prettiest style of playing, and that's the 
way Desmond played. 

Joe Morello as a drummer—apart from 
being quite brilliant—his style was some¬ 
thing else to look at. I used to sit and watch 
him just to see his hands. Tony Williams 
was the same. He had beautiful hands. I 
mean, he's still got them, but to watch 
Tony work was . . . 

MW: I love to watch drummers' hands 
because there are certain ways of holding a 
drumstick. Buddy has a way of holding a 
stick ... I can't figure it out; I don't 
really want to figure it out, but, it floats! 
You look at all the great drummers and 
their sticks float. 

CW: Yeah. Louie Bellson used brushes 
so ... 

MW: Smooth. 

CW: Yeah, but it's an art that's lost in 
drummers. One of the things that rock and 
roll has ruined is that style. Rock and roll 
has probably given more than it's taken, 
but from purely a drummer's view, when 
you sit and see the whole movement of 
drummers that are playing the drumset, 
and watch them play that smooth brush 
playing, and that motion . . . that was a 
style of playing as well, which Buddy Rich 

I've never spoken to Buddy Rich, but 
when you read interviews and people ask 
him, "Who are your favorite drum¬ 
mers?" ... my favorite dream drummer 
is someone like Dave Tough. I'd loved to 
have lived at the time to see that guy. I 
think he was amazing. As a person he 
sounds amazing, but as a player! I'd love 
to have seen Sid Catlett. But, Buddy said 
that Chick Webb was the one to see. Can 
you imagine that Buddy thought Chick 
Webb was great? How good was Chick 
Webb? Imagine how good he was, man, if 
Buddy thought he was good! 

MW: I know. It's mind-boggling. 

CW: Staggering, isn't it really? I would 
love to ask Benny Goodman about Dave 
Tough, or Woody Herman's probably the 
one to ask. I've spoken to Ahmet Ertegun 
who knew Dave Tough. He used to hang 
out at a lot of places when he was young. 
He told me a few things about him. Ahmet 
said that one of the funny things was that 
Dave Tough was sort of a very well-read 
skinny little bugger and he used to play so 
loud! And yet, Big Sid Catlett was a big 
man—and I don't mean that Sid Catlett 
never played loud—but he used to play 
really quiet compared to Tough. I thought 
that was amazing because I thought it 
would be the other way around. 

MW: Max Kaminsky has a book where he 
talks about how Dave Tough was so into 
tuning his drums. 

CW: Yeah, and that was in the days when 
you used to have calf heads. Did you ever 
play on those things? I used them when I 
played with Alexis. It used to get so 
crowded in that club and hot! You'd tune 
the drums up and if you forgot to tune 
them down again—tomorrow they'd be 
completely ripped apart. They dry out. 
Sweat used to drip off the walls and ceil¬ 
ings in that club, so the heads would get 
really sloppy. It was areal art to tune those 
things. I never really used them much. I 
used them for about three years. They were 
lovely for brushes. That's when you really 

continued on page 63 



features at 

T he R-380 kit conies loaded 
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All shells are 9-ply mahogany with 
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With the R-380 you have a 
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The 380's heavy duty stands have 
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The R-380 kit: (#41-4100) 

1 20-lug, 14x22 bass drum fea¬ 
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• infinite adjustment capability 
and memory. 

3 Two 12-lug mounted toms 
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(#41-4212, 41-4213) 

4 Sturdy legs with strong draw- 
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this 16x16, 16-lug tom. (#41-4416) 

5 All-steel, 10-lug, 5x14 snare 
• drum has a constant tension, 
parallel action snare release and 
quick release internal tone control. 

6 Ratchet tilt adjustment and 
• double braced, multi-position 
legs on your snare stand allow 
exact snare placement. Gripper- 
type basket with molded rubber 
drum clamps keep the drum in 
place. (#41-1318) 

7 Cymbal stands have heavy 
• duty, double braced legs. The 
stand also has slip free filter and 
die-cast leg braces. (#41-1328) 

8 Die-cast tilt adjustment on the 
• clamp of this counterbalanced 
boom stand with memory feature 
gives nearly unlimited adjustment 
capabilities. (#41-1355) 

9 Mi-hat is smooth and fast, 

• thanks to fully enclosed expan¬ 
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Base has no-creep spurs and dou¬ 
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-gfv f ast anc * durable pedal has 
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Inexpensive drums with expensive features. 

fw^he R-360 is a five piece set built 
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make for smooth operation. 

The R-360 kit: (#41-0100) 

14x22 bass drum has extra 
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double tom tom mount with ratchet 
adjustment and memory collars. 

2 8x12 and 9xL3 toms with internal 
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16x16 floor tom. (#41-0416) 


4 5x14, ten-lug, all-steel snare has 
♦ a positive action throw-off. 

Snare stand features infinite tilt 
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Molded rubber feet keep this 
• sturdy cymbal stand in place. 

7 Smooth, quiet operation is what 
iyou'll always get with this chain- 
pull hi-hat. (#41-1331) 

Bass pedal has smooth, double 
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spurs, (#41-1341) 

O ptional throne features double 
• braced legs. (#41-1392) 

Professional features at afford¬ 
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got that sound that's simulated now. 

MW: Do you spend a lot of time tuning 
your snare? 

CW: Not really. If it's too tight for me I 
can't really play on it. 

MW: You like it loose? 

CW: A little. That's why I like big drums. I 
buy most of my stuff at S.I.R. They have a 
lot of old stuff around back. You're losing 
that as well now. Drum shops generally 
don't have old stuff. To me, the second 
hand stuff is part of the fun of drums. I 
remember as a kid going in and you've got 
a row of snare drums in a shop. In England 
it took years to get Ludwig drums because 
of the exchange. So, you'd have those 
wrapped up in cellophane and then you'd 
have old trade-ins. I had one of those little 
three-inch snare drums. Just all down the 
row you'd have a variation of drums. Even 
when I'd come to America you had the 
same thing. But now you go into a shop 
and all the drums are new. You've got your 
Tama and Yamaha stuff—it's all there and 
it's all brand new. There's nothing wrong 
with that, but there's no interest. You 
don't have to look at it all because you 
know. But they've gotten much much bet¬ 
ter than the old drums, really. Especially if 
you're on the road. There's a quality about 
the older drums that you don't have. That 
natural kit that I use—that's an early 
Gretsch kit with the round logo on it. 

MW: That's a nice sounding drumset. The 
bass drum is really punchy. Is that the 
same set you record with? 

CW: Yeah. When Ringo bought his 
Ludwig kit in England, I got one about the 
same time. The only other way you could 
get them was from American drummers 
that came over on boats and sold their 

SF: You couldn't buy American kits in 

CW: Not in 1960. A bit later you could. 
You couldn't get them easily, and they 
were so much better at that time. 

SF: Were you playing Premier? 

CW: I was playing a mixture of things. 
Premier's been going for years and they 
make good drums. Actually, Keith Moon 
made Premier better, and Kenny Jones 
made Premier's hardware much better. 
That was what was wrong. It wasn't the 
drum itself. The lugs were awful to travel 
with as well. 

MW: I remember Premier stands. They 
always used to have that screw on the bot¬ 

CW: Yeah. Terrible! You'd hit the drum 
too hard and it would tip over. But, Keith 
and Kenny got them to make the Buck 
Rogers sort of stuff. I used to have a snare 
drum stand that would jump about. If you 
were playing loud you had to hold the 
drum with your knees! 

MW: Rogers had the first Buck Rogers 
stand with the legs coming up from the 


CW: I loved those. I still play with a Buck 
Rogers, and I still use their hi-hat as well. 
They're all rusty. 

SF: Can you name the drummers that have 
really influenced you over the years? 

CW: There were a few drummers in my 
life. Buddy Rich's style is in it's age, isn't it 
really? I mean, he's got a longer view and a 
much more perceptive view of the history 
of drums than I have. But, just from my 
little keyhole in a door that Buddy Rich 
will go through; with the little bit I can see 
there are a few people—not necessarily my 
favorite players—who have actually 
turned around and changed drumming. I 
think Tony Williams is one of those peo¬ 
ple. He also happens to be one of my 
favorite players. I think Billy Cobham did 
that. Although Billy isn't one of my favor¬ 
ite favorites, he's a favorite of mine. There 
really hasn't been anyone else since Billy, 
and Tony before him. I don't know if I'm 
right, but that's the way I see it. Just the 
difference in playing. You didn't ride cym¬ 
bals before that the way Tony Williams 
used to ride. 

He came in with that stop time and you 
just didn't do that before Tony. He did 
that much to the drums. Billy Cobham 
made those fifty-eight drums work. He 
plays them all. It looks incredible, but he 
plays every one of them. There are very 
few guys that actually use half of it. 

Tony would play quarter notes or half 
notes on his ride cymbal. Now, see ... 
Buddy Rich would say, "Yeah, but I saw a 
guy do that back in ..." But, I've never 
seen anyone do that until I saw Tony. Even 
on In A Silent Way, where he just plays hi- 
hat. Maybe that was Miles telling him what 
to do. Miles Davis is one of the greatest 
bandleaders. Philly Joe Jones was one of 
the great drummers in the world and Miles 
Davis had him in his band. Then he was 
playing in his prime and he just stopped 
and found Tony Williams—who was 
seventeen—and played as well as Philly 
Joe Jones under Miles' guidance. 

Duke Ellington's another. I think Duke 
Ellington and Miles Davis were probably 
the greatest bandleaders in picking musi¬ 
cians ever! So far. Philly Joe on 
Milestones—one of the classic, great 
albums—I mean, for brush playing, "Billy 
Boy" is unbelievable. 

SF: Usually when people speak about 
drummers, the great technicians come to 
mind. But still, as Max was saying, there's 
an art to simplicity. Nothing's worse than 
hearing a drummer playing all over the 
place when he should be laying down a 
groove. Some drummers don't know when 
to shut up. Connie Kay, Dave Tough, and 
Mel Lewis are masters at that. Morello 
refers to those kind of drummers as "team 
players." They don't go on the bandstand 
thinking, "Hey, I'm going to be Buddy 

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Rich tonight." 

CW: But some guys can't help being that. 
That's what I'm trying to say. Some guys 
are that sort of person that just takes over. 
Ginger's like that, and that's not to his det¬ 
riment. To me, that's his strength. He does 
play with the band—he's not greedy like 
that—but he's that strong a player in what¬ 
ever he does. He's got so much in him that 
it takes over somehow. I love that. Those 
guys are the exception. They're not neces- 

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sarily the greatest but they are the excep¬ 
tion to the rule. 

Most of the records that I listen to and 
love to play, don't involve incredible drum 
technique. My favorite Buddy Rich 
records are not Buddy Rich drum solos. 
He did a fabulous record in the Fifties 
where he got a big band with Jimmy 
Rowles and did Basie music. Also the 
music that Buddy played with Basie. Basie 
doesn't need a drummer to play solos. 
Some of the jam sessions that Buddy Rich 
played on with Basie are just beautiful 
drumming. Most of the great jazz records 
that Buddy Rich played on, to me, aren't 
drum solos and they are mostly with 
Buddy playing brushes and keeping time. 
He has the enormous ability to keep per¬ 
fect time. Outside of that, he's one of those 
guys that you can suddenly say to: "You 
take eighteen bars," and he plays eighteen 
bars and at the end—after seventeen— 
would come eighteen. I'd be lost after two! 
But he's got a mind that I couldn't con¬ 
ceive of musically in the same terms. 

SF: Would you agree that The Rolling 
Stone's strength is as a band? 

CW: Yeah, oh sure, I think so. I don't 
know with everybody else, but it is to me 
because I can't do anything else other than 
play with a band like that. 

SF: But how may bands are together as 
long as The Stones, or Bruce Springsteen 
and The E Street Band, or The Who? So 
much good music has come out of bands 
like The Rolling Stones because you were 

( MP PROM Mtd) 

wrru EM~rot CFEtee Mtceo?ttOHEC 

able to stay together for so many years. 
There's something special that comes out 
of that kind of a relationship. 

CW: Yeah. It was like that with Duke 
Ellington. To me Duke Ellington was a 
"band" playing. He had the head on him, 
but he chose when there was a saxophone 
solo and he had probably the finest saxo¬ 
phone players alive then to do that little 

Like Sonny Greer is the type of drum¬ 
mer that I know on records. I've never met 
Earl Palmer, but I know the records I love 
that he's played on, and they're some of 
the finest. Sonny Greer's like that to me. 
But, when you get into a song like "Skin 
Deep" or something, that is one of the 
best . . . 

SF: But, "Skin Deep" is a drum feature. 
CW: Yeah, and you're in a band with a 
bandleader as talented or as much of a 
genius as Duke Ellington, who could build 
an orchestra around that and make it more 
than just a drum solo. 

SF: What do you think would happen if 
Buddy Rich, Joe Morello, or Max Roach 
sat in with The Rolling Stones? 

CW: I have no idea! I'd quite like to see it. 
I'm not sure. Maybe, with their enormous 
technical facility they'd be bored just play¬ 
ing stock time. I don't necessarily think 
that's true. I'm just saying, if there's some¬ 
thing that would bore them—maybe that's 
what would bore them! I can't talk for 
them, really. But, it wouldn't really bother 



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by Eliot Zigmund 

Basic Chart Reading 

Chart reading is a very important tool of the working drummer's 
trade. Whether it be jazz combo, rock jingle, show playing, or big 
band, knowing how to read and interpret a chart is essential to 
making a living as a drummer. Many young drummers know how 
to read from exercise books but are baffled by what to do with a 
drum chart in a playing situation. I'd like to look at some basic 
concepts of chart reading that can easily be applied to different 
reading situations that you might find yourself in. 

Most drum charts are rhythmic skeletons of what's going on in 

the music. They usually leave a lot of room for interpretation by 
the drummer in the band. It is the drummer's job to play the writ¬ 
ten "figure" in the music and, if called for, to set up or "fill" the 
figure for the rest of the band. From the outset it's important to 
realize that there is no set way to write a drum chart. Each arranger 
will probably have his own particular style. You will find that some 
overwrite and clutter up your chart, and some underwrite, not giv¬ 
ing you enough. The majority are somewhere in between. 

I'd like to look at eight different drum figures. Each figure is the 
last bar of a four bar phrase. 

v c 1 

It K 1 K d d 




_ I_a p . _ 

■il * 


/ c 1 


Jr * 

T m 

- . .1 .. ,\ 



a) Sing each phrase exactly as written. 

b) Play on set exactly as written; play the written quarter notes with snare, bass, and ride cymbal. 

Each phrase consists of three bars of time and a written phrase in 
the fourth bar. All the written figures are quarter notes and each 
phrase puts the quarter note in a different place. Examples 1-4 fall 
on all the downbeats, and Examples 5-8 fall on all the upbeats. I'm 
using jazz time but you can easily practice these exercises in Latin, 
rock, etc. 

The first way I recommend to practice these phrases is to sing 
them. During the three bars of time sing a ride beat or count the 
time. On the fourth bar sing the figure as if you were a trumpet or 
saxophone player reading a chart. Make sure you hold the quarter 

note for it's full value. Next, using the same concept, play the 
phrases on the drums. Play three bars of time and in the fourth bar 
play the quarter note (exactly as written) with bass drum, snare 
drum, and ride cymbal. Leave the rest of the bar open. Repeat each 
phrase several times before moving on to the next one. 

The next way to practice the phrases is to start using some simple 
fills to set up the written quarter notes. This is where students get 
confused, so make sure the two methods in the above paragraph 
are solid before you start to add fills. A rule of thumb in thinking 
about filling figures is: play the written notes with the bass drum 



and ride cymbal and play the fill with your hands on the snare and 
toms. This is not a rule that holds in all cases, but it is a good way to 
begin with figures as simple as these. The same eight phrases follow 

with fills written in. Notice that for simplicity's sake I've used a 
similar fill for each phrase. When playing the written notes with 
bass drum and ride cymbal, try to get a long sound out of the 
cymbal by catching it on the edge. 


i P i j) _ 

J " \ j (Time-*-) 

3 3 

if J # 



(t P J -“*) 



- -J 

• » .■ 



1 t 

(Time- 5 *) 


giti-H: j. ^ J 


o* * i n 



J (Time-*.) 

5 3 

l‘r-~ If. J • 



1 J* J) 



6 . 


3 3 

j a 7 .J J J 7 j 1 




(i n 7 -) 

.j. i i 




continued on next page 

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^_-~J^_J-jj (Time-*-) 

Play each phrase with written "fill, "play "fill" with hands on the snare and toms, play written quarters with bass drum and ride cymbal. 
Resume playing time as quickly as possible and keep musical flow going. 

After each figure, get back to your basic feel as soon as possible 
without interrupting the flow of the music. 

Once you have mastered these three practice routines, start 
experimenting with more complex fills. Keep using the basic con¬ 
cept of playing the fill with the hands and playing the written figure 
with bass drum and ride cymbal. Use triplets, sixteenths, eighths, 
and quarters to build your fills. Keep in mind that the purpose of 

the fill is to set the figure up for the band. It's not to display your 
technique. Sometimes, the simpler you play the better, especially 
when sight reading a chart. Always keep context in mind. Some¬ 
thing that sounds great with a big band might be too much with a 
combo. Something that sounds great with a combo might be com¬ 
pletely wrong in a show context. 

Following are examples of different fills you might use with the 
figures we've looked at. 




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As you move on to real drum charts with more complex figures, hands on the snare and toms, and using the bass drum and ride 

you will find yourself playing some of the written notes with your cymbal to punctuate the most important notes in a phrase. [* 




7] fi\ 



i r 


f —i 








L J 


\ L 



by Susan Alexander 

Remember the Mystic Knights of the 
Oingo Boingo? From bizarre costumes to 
becoming the darlings of the L. A. New 
Wave scene, the Boingos have been around 
for many years. 

Drummer John Hernandez reflects his 
limitless energy in his playing style; fast 
but with space to breathe. He looks as if he 
could play effortlessly all night long at 
breakneck speed. 

Although the list of people he has per¬ 
formed with is quite long, he says, "I'm 
not into credits. When you see me playing, 
that's all that you should know. I always 
hate it when a guy shows up on the band¬ 
stand and says, 'I've played with this and 
I've played with this . . . ' Who cares? It's 
gonna start at eight o'clock and who 

His effervescence is overflowing. The 
man eats, sleeps and dreams drums. His 
playing philosophy goes something like 

"Generally, the main rule of thumb is 
just to make sure the music gets across. If 
someone says, 'That drummer's really 
great; that music's terrible,' that means 
that I've outstepped my role. That's really 
important to me because I like to orches¬ 
trate. So, if a particular voice gets in the 
way of another voice, then I have to 
change it. I don't think that people like to 
hear drum solos in the middle of music." 

Hernandez started playing when he was 
four. A native of Los Angeles, he began 
playing in his cousins' Latin band. 

He studied with Bob McDonald and 
then with the legendary Freddie Gruber. 
Hernandez says of Gruber, "To me, he's 
an incredible genius. He has yet to be given 
all the recognition he needs to. His hand 
position and his facility is so complete, it's 
unbelievable! I studied with him for two 
and a half years and I was doing things that 
I didn't even understand I could do." 

While all this studying was going on, the 
eighteen year old Hernandez was playing 
in all types of situations from swing and 
dixieland to anything in the studio. "I was 
starting to do the regular sessions and all 
those things. I was really involved in my 
craft. I was doing a lot of shows then 
because I could read and enjoyed reading 

and I could really kick a band in the back¬ 

He then discovered the likes of Jack 
DeJohnette and avant-garde music and 
became tired of the studio scene. 

Hernandez moved into a steady gig with 
Helen Reddy's band. He recalls, "It was 
my first experience of playing music with 
people who didn't get together to do that. 
It was work. It was a whole different thing 
and I realized it once I went on the road. 
You realize how much you really have to 
rely on yourself." 

Before he left on one of the many Helen 
Reddy tours, he ran into the Mystic 
Knights. They were dressed in dinosaur 
outfits and played such rock classics as 
"Flight of the Bumblebee." He recalls, "I 
sat and watched the whole show and I was 
on the floor." 

After he left Helen Reddy, he worked 
with dancer Toni Basil. He had more con¬ 
tact with the Boingos and worked with 
some of them on a movie project. He 
found out that they were looking for a 
drummer. He remembers, "I just went 
down and said, 'You're not going to 
believe this, but when's rehearsal? I'll be 

'T've been in the band for about four 
years. When I first started playing, it was 
just nuts. It was real out. Then we gradu¬ 
ally got more into rock and roll music so 
the record companies would accept us. 
This is an industry town and people are 
extremely safe." 

The Mystic Knights became just Oingo 
Boingo to complement their new direction 
in music. They play fast-paced music filled 
with quick tempo changes. John says, 
"The younger kids can really relate to that 
youthfulness in the music. 

"I could play a million notes, but it 
really wouldn't matter in the context of 
that band. There are eight people doing a 
million things and there's just no room. I 
have to make sure that the drum parts out¬ 
line what's going on." 

Many musicians and fans of the simple 
and direct approach to music think that it's 
not important to play well. Hernandez 
agrees that the attitude exists. "Yeah, but I 
really don't care. So many people want to 
hear somebody that says, 'I got up and 
dropped the trash can. I couldn't believe 

it! The lid was in tune to the song we were 
doing. I brought it in and with every fourth 
beat, I hit it and it drives me wild and it 
drives people wild.' 

"To me, that's much more inspirational 
because I'm technical. I've practiced for 
eight/ten hours a day. 

"A guy will come over with a friend of 
mine. He'll play a beat for me that is so off 
the wall and it just shoots down my whole 
day. You realize that during a whole day of 
playing, you didn't play half of what this 
guy's playing right now. 

"If I quit learning, I'm as good as dead 
to you. If you hear me a year from now and 
I don't sound any different, you can come 
up and throw something at me. That's sort 
of my thing. You have to keep moving and 
keep growing. 

"You have to approach it that way. It's 
like when somebody starts taking themsel¬ 
ves too seriously. It's good for them, I 
guess. I don't think it's good for me." 

Hernandez is playing DW drums and is 
very pleased with them. "They're like a 
heaven-sent thing," he says. "They're 
incredible because they're the old Glad¬ 
stone design with the reinforcement. 
They're wood, and they have those RIMS 
on them." 

His set at the present time consists of a 
16 x 24 bass drum, 10", 12" and 14" 
mounted toms and a floor tom. He says, 
"I go between a 16" or an 18", depending 
on how the set goes and how many tunes I 
can cover on a particular drum." 

"I'm really into synthesizers. The 
sounds that they're putting out now are 
really basic and can be duplicated acousti¬ 
cally. So, I have a 15" marching snare 
drum over at the side tuned like a box with 
loose wires. It sounds like an electronic 
drum and it sounds great! To me, it's much 
more fun than putting up Syndrums." 



He continues, "My garage is like a drum 
shop. I really love the instrument. I love to 
take them apart and put them together. It's 
my hobby. It's my joy. 

"I'm a nut. I'd go in to Bob Yeager at 
Pro Drum Shop and I'd say, 'Well, I took 
it apart and this spring was broken." He's 
looking at me and he goes, 'You jerk, what 
are you doing? You don't take drums 
apart, you play them! What's wrong with 

"But, I do that. I have to know what it's 
gonna do; how it's gonna react. The DW's 
are so incredible. They were the first drum 
I ever played that I could actually get 
impact and sound out of the shell and not 
the head. It was a beautiful thing to see a 
shell and feel it react so quickly." 

As far as cymbals go, John says, 
"Depending on the job, I really love Zild- 
jians, simply because they have a little 
more harmonic content and they're just a 
little fuller. There isn't much ride-cymbal 
work in this kind of music. So, I've got a 
20" kind of crash/ride. I've got a 19" and a 
swish cymbal." 

Some of Hernandez's influences are 
familiar. John says, "If anybody influ¬ 
ences me, that's great, but Buddy Rich was 
one of my first loves and I can still watch 
him. I don't think there'll ever be anybody 
like him because history can't repeat itself. 
Nobody has been as intense. What it is, is 
the thing that I've discovered with this 
band: you can't stop. After two shows, 
I'm warmed up. I know that I'm gonna be 
playing till I'm eighty. I'm not going to 
stop. I love to play. I am at home in back of 
a set of drums." 

After talking to John Hernandez and 
seeing him play, it's easy to believe that he 
will indeed be playing when he is eighty. 
After many years of playing, he is still 
totally immersed in every aspect of his 
instrument. hr 

Yes, I've missed some copies! Please send me the issues checked off below, 

□ 12 □ 17 □ 19 □ 22 □ 24 □ 26 □ 28 

□ 13 □ 18 □ 21 □ 23 □ 25 □ 27 

My payment for $ is enclosed. 

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Mail To: 

Modern Drummer, Back Issue Service, 1000 Clifton Avenue, Clifton. N.J* 



#12 — AUGUST 1979 

Billy Cob ham. Elvin Jones, 
Jimmy Cobb. Don Lamond. 
Repairing Snare Drums, 
Gladstone Technique. 

#13 — OCTOBER 1979 

Gene Kmpa Tribute Issue 
Ebia, discography, photos, 
transcriptions) Michael 
Shrieve. Syndrum. Van- 

#17-JUNE 1930 

Carl Palmer, Derek Pelhcci, 
Bill Goodwin. Great Jaz i 
Dnammers-Part 1. Poll Re¬ 

#18 - AUGUST 1980 

Chet McCracken & Keith 
Knudsen iDnobie Bros.), 

Joe Cocuzzo, Ed Greene. In¬ 
side Star Instruments. GJD: 
Part 2, 

#19 - OCTOBER 1980 

Louie Belison, Mick Fleet- 
wood, Roy Haynes, Gadd 

Rock Rhythms. New Equip¬ 
ment Review jNAMM). 

#21 - FEBRUARY 1981 

Peter Criss. Rick Marotta. 
John Bonham, Rod Mor- 
genstein, George Marsh. 
Care & Feeding of Drums. 

#22 —APRIL 1981 

Hal Blaine, Gil Moore, Don 
Moye. Special Report on 
R.LM.S,. Percussion Insti¬ 
tute of Technology Close-up, 
#23 - MAY 1981 

The Country Rock Scene: 
Jaimoe Johansen-Butch 
Trucks, Roger Hawkins, 
Buddy Harman, Paul T. 
Riddle, Inside Ludwig, 
Drinking and Drumming. 
#24 - JUNE 1981 

Simon Phillips, Sieve 
Smith. Collin Walcott, 
Broadway Drummers 
Roundtable. Hnw To Gel 
Your Product On Hie Mar¬ 
ket. 'SI Poll Winners. 

#25 — JULY 1981 

Harvey Mason, Alan Grai- 
zer, Susan Evans. Aches & 
Pains of Drumming, Bass¬ 
ists: On Drummers. 

#26 — AUGUST 1981 

B% Kreuizmurm Mickey 
Hart, James Bradley, Jr.. 
Casey Seheuerell. Tire Cuie 
& Feeding of Cymbals 

#27 — OCTOBER 1981 

Shelly Manne, Tommy Al¬ 
dridge, Darrell Sweet. Jim 
Chapin. Billy Gladstone 
Tribute, Clubdate Miking. 
Drums On Parade at 

#28-NOVEMBER 1981 

Jim Kellner, Terry Bozzio, Ed 
Blackwell, Evolution of the 
Drumset. Drumming & 

All Back Issues, $3*50 per copy. 

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Bass Drum Pedals II 

by Bob Saydlowski, Jr. 


Drum Workshop acquired all the old 
Cameo tools, dies, molds and machinery, 
and is making a variety of drum pedals 
available. The 5000C relies on a chain/ 
sprocket linkage. Drum shops have been 
converting strap-linkage pedals to chain- 
drive on their own, but DW is the first 
company to market this type pedal to the 

The DW 5000C is a replica of the old 
workhorse Cameo pedal, having twin 
posts, a hinged-heel footboard of forged 
steel, and a single expansion spring. The 
spring is stretched downward and is 
stuffed with padding to keep noise to a 
minimum. Tension is adjusted near the 
base of the framework by an elongated hex 
nut. Stroke may be changed to any of four 
different positions. A fat hexagonal steel 
bar serves as the axle, on which, the beater 
housing and the gear sprocket are fitted. 
Both are movable for the length of the 
axle; the beater housing tightened with a 
hex bolt, the sprocket locked in place with 
an included Allen wrench. The sprocket 
has thirty "teeth" and runs a bicycle-type 
chain which connects underneath the foot¬ 

One advantage of the chain-drive is that 
the linkage here is less prone to breakage 
(and definitely will not stretch!) as com¬ 
pared to the regular strap types. It's best to 
keep the chain greased as you would with a 
bicycle to insure smooth, noise-free 
action. The chain also allows the foot¬ 
board to follow a "track," keeping 
motion constant. 

The footboard connects to the chromed 
frame via two rod arms coming from the 
heel plate. The rods are straight for most 
of their length, but then, angle upward to 
fit into metal eyelets one-third of the way 
up the frame. Hoop clamping is done with 
the standard wing screw/plate system 
found on many other pedals. A felt beater 
is included, held in place by a T-screw. 

The 5000C is a simplistic-looking pedal, 
and very lightweight. The action is so easy, 
it is like an extension of your foot. In fact, 
its quickness and feather response can tend 
to spoil you. Unlike today's assortment of 
"monster" pedals, the 5000C retains the 
idea of 'back-to-basics'—and here it defin¬ 
itely pays off. The 5000C also recently 
became available with one-piece foot¬ 
boards, and half-sprockets. $119.00 

PEARL 910 

The 910 is the top-of-the-line Pearl 
pedal. It first appeared on the market a few 
years ago, but was withdrawn soon after. 
Now, it has come back into view after 
some changes were made. 

The Pearl 970 has a sandblasted hinged- 
heel footboard with an adjustable/remov¬ 
able toe stop. The footboard may be posi¬ 
tioned in any of three lengths away from 
the framework via rod arms fitting into 
holes at the base. There is a ribbed-rubber 
piece on the underside of the heel plate to 
help prevent skidding. Linkage is done by 
a flexible strap: two pieces of leather with a 
nylon layer in between. Encased at the top 
right of the frame is a compression spring, 
extending upward. The spring is adjusta¬ 
ble for tension by a knurled knob atop the 
casing. An adjustment scale is cut into the 
spring case to use as a reference point. Ten¬ 
sion adjustment is very easily done from 
the playing position. At the base of the 
frame are two knurled-knob sprung spurs. 

The pedal clamps to the drum hoop 
using a one-touch cam clamp lever. At the 
left side of the base is a stick-shift type 
lever with a black ball. When this lever is 
pulled towards the player, the clamp plate 
falls to the hoop, locking the pedal down. 
To adjust for different hoop thicknesses, 
the clamp plate has a knurled knob screw 
that lowers a cast block inside the plate. 
This "fattens up" the plate, setting the dis¬ 
tance between the plate and the hoop. 

The 910 comes with a felt beater set in 

height by a T-screw that matches the 900 
Series stand screws. One minor problem is 
that this height screw gets in the way of the 
strap a bit, making it uncomfortable to 

Using a short throw, I couldn't really get 
the beater angle to my own personal liking 
without having the spring chamber almost 
parallel with the batter head. 

Anyway, the Pearl 910 looks strong and 
positive, and does have a silent, efficient 
action to it. The clamping system is one of 
the best and is very easy to use. $125.00 


For drummers who want to play double 
bass, but don't want to go through the 
pain of carting a second bass drum, the 
Zalmer Twin may be the answer. 

The Zalmer pedal allows double-bass- 
drum patterns to be played on a single bass 
drum. Two split-heel footboards with 
frames are connected together. Each one 
has a single expansion spring stretched 
downward, and a metal strap linkage. (A 
new model with a leather strap is forth¬ 
coming.) The right-hand pedal assembly 
has two felt beaters moving independently. 
The right beater is activated directly by the 
right footboard, while the left beater is 
activated by the left footboard via a fat 
flexible cable attached to both pedal rock¬ 
ers. The two beaters are set to strike off- 
center of the batter head. In addition to the 
frame bases, the two pedals are connected 
at the bottom by a two-piece metal bar 
which can adjust pedal-to-pedal distance 
(and, thus, the curve of the flex cable). 
Both ends of the bar fit ratchet swivels 
which adjust playing angles of the left 

The footboards are connected to their 
respective frames by a hinged steel bar 
which is actually part of the heel plate and 
is riveted into a channel at the frame base. 
The right footboard is set off to the right of 
the hoop clamp, which is a slight variation 



- <Sab 


of Drum Technique 

A most logically written drum set book which 
could very well becomeTHE coordination 
book for all drum set players. JohnBeck 

Excellent for four way coord in at ron used in 
today's fusion, funk and rock. JimChapin 

Will help students improve technique, control, 
time feel and soloingabriity, J. DiCiOCCiO of the all time drum books, a 
very special book that should be in EVERY 
drummer's library Max Roach 

Develops phrasing lor the musical drummer, 
allows for creativity mall styles Ed Saindon 

(Sofuv > 


Rudimentary Approach 

Ideal learning tool to develop modern playing 
ability and reading skill through imdepth study 
of the legitimate rudiments applied to the drum 
set for all styles, Beginners will learn from 
its systematic and direct approach to play ail 
the modern sounds for the traps with the ru¬ 
diments Intermediate players will enthuse 
over its innovative applications to the drum 
set. Advanced players will appreciate its 
professional conception. Excellent mstruo 
tive guide for drum set Teachers. 

SAL SOFIA* Clinician 
■ Technique expert 

Send m.o, or check in U.S, 839.95 for OMNI and 817.95 for 
TRAPS to SAL SOFIA, 6 Avenue J, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 
T-and sweat shirts: OMNI title and logo in gold on blk 
navy are 87.00 and 814.00. Indicate size and color, 

on the common wing-screw/plate-clamp 

Zalmer has placed the tension springs on 
the inside of the frames—perhaps a bit 
uncomfortable to adjust. Two felt beaters 
are included. 

Action of the Zalmer Twin is easy and 
noise-free, and really duplicates having 
two separate bass drums, with no distor¬ 
tion of tone. The Zalmer pedal is an inge¬ 
nious concept, placing the second foot¬ 
board right next to your hi-hat pedal, 
keeping the left side of your set-up as tight 
as you are used to. 

If you play a totally left-handed set-up 
(bass drum with left foot, hi-hat with 
right), then, unfortunately, this pedal 
won't work for you. Perhaps Zalmer 
would consider a left-handed (or footed) 
model. $200.00 


The Supreme pedal is Rogers' contribu¬ 
tion to the heavy-duty breed of drum ped¬ 
als. The footboard is cast aluminum with a 
hinged heel, built-in toe stop, and is 
extremely wide. Action relies on a single 
expansion spring stretched upward on the 
right side of the frame, and adjusted by a 
wing nut on top. A synthetic strap linkage 
is used. The length of the strap may be 
adjusted by means of four different holes, 
which in turn, change the playing angle of 
the footboard. The entire height of the 
beater and tension assembly may be 
altered via a sliding post, locked with two 
drum-key operated set screws. Beater tra¬ 
vel is adjustable, as is beater height. 

A cam-activated clamp locks the pedal 
to the hoop, using an L-bar at the bottom 
left of the frame. The heel plate is con¬ 
nected to the frame by a steel rod, which in 
turn, connects to a swivel. This allows the 
footboard to be angled to the left or right 
of the framework. (Rogers claims exclusiv¬ 
ity, but Premier's PD252 also has this 
capability.) Metal spurs slide down both 
sides of the frame, and are tightened by 
square-head screws. Similar to razor blade 
edges, their points can dig into any surface 
and help prevent creep. 

Rogers includes its Blackjack beater 

with the Supreme: a double-sided beater; 
one side with felt, the other a flattened syn¬ 
thetic (but lighter than wood). The sur¬ 
faces are reversible by simply pressing 
down on the head and turning half-way. A 
spring lock snaps the beater head back into 

The Supreme has somewhat of a heavy 
action to it, but the pedal itself is very light¬ 
weight, thanks to the aluminum. I feel the 
footboard is too wide and cannot allow for 
good control. For my own tastes, the pedal 
is too big. $105.50 

The Rogers SwivOMatic is available in 
either one-piece or split footboards. The 
frame assemblies are exactly the same as 
used on the Supreme; the only things dif¬ 
ferent are the footboards and strap widths. 
Here, the linkage straps are not as wide, 
and have three holes to enable different 
footboard heights. The footboards are 

also not as wide as the Supreme, and are 

The footboard on the one-piece SwivO¬ 
Matic can be lengthened. A drum-key 
operated screw is set into the heel plate 
and, when loosened, allows the footboard 
to slide up and down from the heel plate, 
giving a choice of distances from the 
frame. (NOTE: Only American-made 
drum keys fit the adjustment holes in the 
plate.) The one-piece model also has an 
adjustable toe-stop. 

Blackjack beaters are included with 
these pedals, but have smaller diameter 

Both SwivOMatic models definitely 
have better action than the Supreme, prob¬ 
ably due to their compacted footboards. 
The SwivOMatics are efficient, light¬ 
weight and simple. Split footboard— 
$74.75. One-piece adjustable—$91.25 



In the June issue of MD, the photo 
of Mickey Curry on page 100 was in¬ 
correctly credited. The photogra¬ 
pher was Stacy Garbasz. Our 
apologies. } 

\ d 



Mann continued from page 17 

that I specialize on mallets, but do all the 

When I was in college, I would maybe go 
two weeks heavy on mallets, and then two 
weeks heavy on drum set. Meanwhile, I'd 
keep doing the other ones at least a couple 
of minutes a day, just to keep it there. 
That's still kind of the way I do it. It's like 
a rotational schedule—sometimes day to 
day. I'll get up and I'll think, "Today, I 
want to work on some hand drumming," 
and I'll just do that. It takes longer to 
really become proficient at each one, but 
you get immediate side benefits, because 
you realize, "From doing that yesterday, I 
feel a difference in this today." You 

understand how it applies. 

RM Has your set-up with Zappa remained 
fairly consistent over the years? 

EM: It has, but yet, it's always changing. 
I'm always adding things to it and some¬ 
times, when I add, there's no more room, 
so I have to subtract something. But it's 
pretty standard. One advantage I have is 
that I'm a one-man percussion section, so I 
don't have to worry about tripping over 
anybody else. In terms of the mallet set-up, 
that remains the same, with the xylophone 
right above the marimba and the glocken- 
speil right above the vibraphone, so I can 
play them both at once. I would say the set¬ 
up I have now will probably stay the same, 
at least in terms of the mallets, the gongs, 

and the Syndrums. It seems to work pretty 
well. This year, I added some keyboards to 
the set-up: a Wurlitzer piano and a Mini- 
Moog, so that kind of changed things too. 
RM: Do you have any background on 
piano or does it all come from playing mal¬ 

EM When I was a kid, I could play Carole 
King-type piano. I just sort of picked it up 
by myself. Any harmonic knowledge I 
gained was from playing mallets. 

RM: When Zappa gives you a vibe part, 
does he write out the voicings or does he 
give you chord symbols? 

EM: He'll usually write out the voicings. 
There are some tunes where it starts as 
chord symbols, and then the voicings are 
decided on later, depending on what the 
instrumentation is. One thing I've been 
doing more and more is functioning har¬ 
monically by comping on the vibes or 
marimba. I've come up with a lot of my 
own voicings. Depending on what the key¬ 
boards and guitars are playing, the vibes 
may function as a coloring instrument. 
Instead of using a full four-note chord, I 
might use just three voices, or two. When 
we do something like that, it's up to my 
discretion as to which voices in which 
range will function best. Obviously, if you 
had organ, synthesizer, and vibes playing 
the same thing, it would sound different 
than if you had the organ comping chords, 
the synthesizer functioning as a brass sec¬ 
tion, and the vibes playing long sustains. 
You'd get a different texture. That's pretty 
much what it's all about. 

RM: Tell me about the specific instru¬ 
ments you use. 

EM I have a three-octave Deagan vibra¬ 
phone. They were making a four-octave 
model, and I tried to get ahold of one, but 
they told me it was out of production 
because they are redesigning it. 

RM: Did you ever try the Electravibe? 

EM Yup. I didn't like it because of the 
way the case comes out past the bars. I 
don't like that because you can't bow any 
of the bars with a cello bow. I love to do 
that. It's one of the ways to get a truly dif¬ 
ferent sound out of the instrument. 

The instrument I have now is a model 
592 or 594. It's the same instrument 
depending on if it has pick-ups. Mine has 
pick-ups. Deagan has designed a new pick¬ 
up which is great. It doesn't require a pre¬ 
amp, which makes the signal real clean and 
you get quite a bit of punch out of it. 

The vibraphone and marimba are adja¬ 
cent to each other. They are the only mallet 
instruments that stand on their own feet. 
The glockenspiel is mounted above the 
vibraphone at an angle, much like the way 
a keyboard player might stack synthesiz¬ 
ers. That's so I can get from one to the 
other quickly, as well as, play both of them 
at the same time. The xylophone is 
mounted the same way in relation to the 
marimba—it's stacked right above it. The 
marimba is a four-octave, the xylophone is 

"As o rock drummer I need the power ro cur through rhe other 
instruments in the bond. My cymbals have ro deliver when I wont 
that power crash or cutting ping. My sticks have to be extensions 
of my hands, strong, but aiso obsorbent for rhe punishment that 
they re about to take. Drums are a key par of our music If I can't 
be heard, there s no point in being there. That's why I use 


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three and a half, and the glockenspiel is 
two and a half. The marimba and xylo¬ 
phone are both Musser Kelon. I use Kelon 
because it's durable. They won't crack like 
wood will, and they go out of tune less. 
Both have Barcus-Berry Hot-Dots in 
them, and they seem to blend better with 
electric instruments than wood instru¬ 
ments do. 

My chimes are also Musser. Chimes are 
the only problem. We haven't found the 
right way to get those direct. We tried Hot- 
Dots, but they continue to ring even after 
the pedal is let up. So they're being miked 
at the moment. 

I have two sets of Syndrums, which to 
me, are the best electronic drums. You can 
get a lot of textures out of them and a lot of 
different variations if you have a hand free 
to play with the controls while you're hit¬ 
ting them, which most drummers don't. 
But as a percussionist, I don't have to sit 
there and keep riding time. I'm constantly 
changing the settings, but I pretty much 
know how to get the sound I want right 
away, because I've spent a lot of time with 
them. I have two sets of Syndrums, simply 
because my set-up is so large. If I need to 
use them, I don't have to run across to the 
other side—I've got a set on each side. 

The pride and joy of my set-up is my 
rack of Wuhan gongs. I own fifteen Opera 
gongs, but I only use three, depending 
upon the situation. Then there's a 20" tam¬ 

tam and a 20" wind gong, which looks like 
a cymbal without a hole or a cup. It's a 
great instrument. Also a 38" tam-tam. 
They all are amazing. You couldn't get real 
Chinese gongs for a long time, but thanks 
to Bruce Howard at World Percussion, 
they're available again. 

Then there's a snare drum, castanets, 
Chinese cymbals, antique cymbals, bird 
calls, whistles, car horns, tambourines, 
shakers, Latin-type percussion, a bell tree, 
a Vibraslap, things like that. Most of my 
things are mounted so that I can play them 
with mallets. That way, I don't have to 
worry too much about putting the mallets 
down and picking something else up. So I 
can get back and forth pretty quick. 

Obviously, the reason for having all 
these things is to get timbral variation. 
Even though the lower end of the xylo¬ 
phone is in the same range as the upper end 
of the marimba, the xylophone is tuned to 
have a different sound than the marimba, 
just by the way the bar is carved. The har¬ 
monic structure is different. 

RM: When some people try to use a lot of 
percussion, it can start to sound like a cir¬ 
cus, or a Spike Jones routine. 

EM: That's the stereotypical problem that 
any percussionist faces, but you're not lim¬ 
ited to that with these instruments. There 
are a lot of things that can be done that 
have not been brought to the front of peo¬ 
ple's consciousness. They're not used to 

hearing the instruments do certain things. 
For instance, a reggae comp on a marimba 
is a truly wonderful thing. If you deaden 
the two outer voices and let the two inner 
ones ring, you get a whole different texture 
than you're used to hearing on a marimba. 
It's the same thing for any of the instru¬ 
ments. It's how you play it and when to use 
it. I think a percussionist's job, more than 
anybody else's in the band, is to pick and 
choose—not only what to play and what 
sound to use, but where not to play. If you 
play all of the time as a percussionist, 
you're going to destroy the effect of what 
you're doing. Just two little notes on a 
glockenspiel will bring a listener's ear out 
to go, "Wow! What was that?" Whereas, 
if you played the whole thing on the glock¬ 
enspiel, the listener's ear would get tired of 
that. Percussion should be used to high¬ 
light the music. You can make a nice, high 
melody come out more. You can make 
something that is really hard-hitting come 
out bigger by using bass drum and gongs. 
By finding the right instrument for the 
right part of the music, you don't end up 
sounding like a circus effect. Bring some 
character to the instruments and bring 
some character to the music through the 

RM: I remember Ruth Underwood always 
had tympani when she was with Zappa. I 
was surprised that you didn't. 

continued on next page 



EM: We always had problems with the 
tympani in that the heads are so sensitive 
that they would start vibrating from all of 
the sound coming from the stage. The 
mic's would pick it up and it would start to 
feed back. We almost used tympani again 
on this tour. One of Frank's sound engi¬ 
neers has developed a magnetic drum pick¬ 
up. It uses some kind of element on the 
drum head which functions basically as a 
transducer. We tried those in some drums 
and they worked beautifully. We were 
going to put them in the tympani so we 
wouldn't have the problem with miking, 
but we didn't have time to do it before the 
tour started. If there had been time, you 
would have seen tympani. I like to use 

RM: Have you done much tympani play¬ 
ing over the years? 

EM: When I was going to the Hartt School 
of Music and studying with A1 Lepak, he 
put me through a lot of tympani training, 
which was invaluable. I love to play tym¬ 
pani, but the situation doesn't present 
itself that often. Much of the studio work 
that I do requires tympani playing, so 
that's usually my only chance to play 
them. It's not like playing the Bartok Con¬ 
certo, but it is tympani playing. 

There are a lot of ways that tympani can 
be used which have been unexplored. One 
thing is to suspend metal discs over the 
head, move the pedals, and use the tym¬ 
pani simply as a resonating chamber, let¬ 
ting the harmonic frequency sweep along 

with it. It sounds electronic; it sounds like 
a synthesizer. Another one we used to do 
was to take a barbeque skewer, lay it across 
the head, letting it extend out over the 
edge, and then bow the skewer while mov¬ 
ing the pedal. It's the most outrageous 
sound you've ever heard in your life. It 
sounds like a $30,000 synthesizer, but it's 
just a 59cents barbeque skewer on a tympani 
head. A lot of these are techniques that 
John Bergamo developed. 

RM: You mentioned playing tympani in 
the studio. How much studio work do you 
do outside of your gig with Zappa? 

EM I do as much as avails itself to me. It's 
a real tough area to break into because the 
people who have been doing it for years are 
still doing it. So it often requires someone 
who can't make a job saying, "Get this 
guy." I do a moderate amount of it, but I 
could certainly do more. It's the kind of 
thing that grows. You get established, peo¬ 
ple start to realize that you're around, and 
that aside from playing rock and roll 
you're also able to read, and things like 
that. Calls start to come in more and more. 
Like I said, I can always do more, but it's 
the kind of thing you can't rush because 
you have a limited amount of control over 
getting that sort of work. There's a lot of 
politics involved. 

RM: Do you get artistic fulfillment from 
studio work? 

EM: Yeah. It's not nearly as challenging as 
playing Frank's music, but occasionally 
you get a date that really requires you to 

put out some effort. So yeah, for me, it's 
artistically satisfying. You hear about peo¬ 
ple who don't care—they just go in and 
kind of whip it off and they couldn't care 
less. I don't run into too many people like 
that. People like that do exist, but a lot of 
times I think that point gets exaggerated. I 
think most people who go in there, at least 
most of the people that I've worked with, 
do care about what they're doing and they 
try to do the best job they can. That's what 
makes it fulfilling: when you look at the 
guy next to you and know that he's actu¬ 
ally concerned. Even though it may be just 
a TV theme, there's not necessarily any¬ 
thing bad about that. It gets a bad name, 
but there are composers who are capable 
of writing good TV themes. If the music is 
good, and you can make it sound good, 
then that is its own artistic fulfillment. You 
may not have had the chance to change the 
course of musical history or anything, but 
it's the chance to play music, which is what 
we're all here to do. 

RM: Some of the biggest complaints I've 
read about studio musicians have been in 
interviews with Zappa. 

EM: Frank has had a lot of experience with 
studio players because of these orchestral 
things he's done. There are always going to 
be a few who are more concerned with how 
the clock is running or what the Union has 
to say about it than they are about the 
music. In a situation like Frank's, that 
doesn't work too well because it's not a 
typical date. Some extra effort has to go 


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into it. There's no way it will go off like an 
ordinary TV or film date. It's a lot more 
demanding. So when you run into a few 
characters who try to take you for all 
you're worth, and then don't give you a 
decent performance of the music—you're 
going to complain about it. But some peo¬ 
ple think that everyone who does studio 
work is like that, which is basically not 
true. Most studio musicians are still genu¬ 
inely concerned about music. 

RM: Would you be happy just doing stu¬ 
dio work? 

EM I seriously doubt it. I have a definite 
urge to play in front of people. Again, it's 
like, "Would you be happy just playing 
drums?" I don't think I'd be happy just 
doing live performance and not doing any 
studio work. I really enjoy playing in the 

Studio is a whole different kind of play¬ 
ing than live. You can do things that you 
just couldn't do live—they wouldn't be 
picked up. It's two totally different kinds 
of work. I think that if tomorrow I just 
started doing all studio work, after a cer¬ 
tain amount of time I'd have the itch to 
play live. I know I would. When we've 
taken four or six months off to do an 
album, after that time it's like, "Come on, 
let's start playing." I like band playing. 
Studio playing is usually by yourself. I 
think the comprehensive musician should 
do both, if possible. It all adds up. 

RM: For you, what is the difference 
between recording with the whole group at 
once, and overdubbing a part by yourself? 
EM A lot of times it's easier when every¬ 
body's there. It depends on how you're set 
up in the studio. If you can see the other 
players, you can catch cues from each 
other. You can pick up other people's 
body rhythms as they're playing, which 
sometimes makes the ensemble things a lit¬ 
tle tighter. 

RM: What about inspiring each other? 
EM: That's kind of what I'm getting at. A 
lot of times, by having people playing 
together, you can create more dynamics. 
It's something that's being created 
together, as opposed to having something 
that's already on tape and you follow 
along with it. 

RM: What about the end result? 

EM The end result is up to the producer. 
What you end up hearing depends on how 
they decide to mix it. 

RM: Studio recordings may be perfect, but 
there is a certain excitement on a live 

EM: Interestingly enough, that's some¬ 
thing you hear sometimes about Frank's 
music. However well the record is done in 
the studio, the live performance is usually 
much different. I think that's because of 
the type of music it is. It's always popping 
and there's always a lot of stuff going on 
and there's a lot of energy. I mean, look: 
Frank has been touring for sixteen years 
and he's still doing it. There's something 

about what happens live with his music 
that is a whole other thing from what is 
produced in the studio. That's why Frank 
does so much live recording. I think that's 
also why he can still tour successfully. Peo¬ 
ple will have the record, but they also want 
to hear the thing live. Things are different 
sometimes because Frank will change the 
arrangement, or because you're dealing 
with a different setting (like maybe playing 
in a hockey rink), or because of the excite¬ 
ment of a live situtation—having an audi¬ 
ence right there. There's also the improvi- 
sational factor. In all of the music, there's 
a certain part of it that's going to be differ¬ 
ent every night. Not the chord changes or 
the instruments it's being played on, but 
just little things that may be added or 
changed on the spot. 

RM: How do electronic devices like the 
drum computers fit into all of this? 

EM: The good thing about a drum 
machine is that it's obviously steady. 
There's music out now that's got this inces¬ 
sant, non-dynamic drive to it, which kind 
of creates its own energy. A drum machine 
would be great for something like that 
because it's hard to get drummers who will 
play like that. 

RM: Do you want drummers to play like 

EM: It depends on the context. I guess you 
wouldn't want a drummer that's machine¬ 
like, although I get a tremendous kick out 
of the drummer who plays with Devo, 

because he sounds like a drum computer a 
lot of times. But they couldn't use a 
machine either because the thing that's 
great is seeing the guy doing it. I think 
drum computers are best used as an addi¬ 
tion rather than as a replacement, 
although I'm sure that there are bands who 
could use one as their drummer and still 
have something good come off because of 
their own energy. Again, the music would 
have to be constructed around that kind of 

RM In many ways, that would be like 
playing along with a click track. Can musi¬ 
cians play with a click and still make it feel 

EM: I think it's totally possible. It might 
not make sense for something like Elvin 
Jones' thing, but for pop music, you could 
have perfect time and still have a lot of 
energy and drive to it. 

RM: Getting back to the live perform¬ 
ances, Zappa has always included new 
material in his concerts. How willing is the 
public to listen to something new? 

EM: For Frank's audience, that's what 
they look for. A lot of times they don't 
even know it's something new because it's 
stuck in the middle of something they've 
already heard. The audience will usually 
accept it if it's organized and well- 
rehearsed. A lot of times, you'll hear 
bands try new things, but they haven't 
really worked it out yet, so it comes off 
continued on page 79 




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sloppy. It doesn't measure up to the rest of 
the material they're performing. But if 
you've rehearsed it enough so you know 
what you're doing, then the audience gen¬ 
erally appreciates it. They're not just get¬ 
ting a band rehashing the same tunes 
they've done for the last ten years; they're 
getting something different. They're get¬ 
ting something new for what they've paid 
for that concert ticket, and tickets aren't 
cheap these days. I think it brings more 
value to the experience they go to a concert 

RM: What about the need to have a certain 
familiarity with a piece of music? You 
can't always absorb a piece on the first 

EM: I agree. When you buy a record, you 
listen to it once through, and then the sec¬ 
ond and third times you hear it, you start 
to hear what went into making that piece 
of music. Very rarely can you hear some¬ 
thing the first time and get everything the 
composer had in mind. Maybe a sign of 
good music is that you have to hear it a 
bunch of times. 

RM: What have you learned from being 
with Zappa? 

EM: With Frank's situation, you're 
always pushed to the limit of your abilities, 
which then becomes the standard, which 
means you then have to go that much far¬ 
ther. I think I've learned to be a true multi¬ 
percussionist as a result of being a one- 
man percussion section. I've had to cover a 
lot of parts that would normally require 
two or three players—not only in terms of 
playing all at once, but also in terms of get¬ 
ting from one instrument to another 
quickly. I've also developed a lot of mallet 
chops. I didn't have the ability to play 
what I can play now when I came into the 
band. You either cut the parts or you don't 
have the job. 

I've also learned a lot about how a group 
works. There was a summer where I was 
what we call the "Clone Meister." I would 
conduct the rehearsal for five hours and 
then Frank would come in for three. From 
that, I can't tell you how much I learned 
about how to organize an ensemble, get¬ 
ting the best out of players, conducting, 
reading scores, making sure everything 
goes together right, and being an ensemble 
director. And then I've learned about how 
a tour works, and what goes on behind 
producing an album and putting a show on 
the road. I never stop learning because the 
times keep changing and there are always 
new things to learn in this kind of business. 
So I see it as an ongoing experience. 

RM: Are you involved in any projects of 
your own? 

EM I have been starting to write quite a bit 
of music. I have a minor recording studio 
at home, so I'm going to start recording it 
to help develop my compositional abilities. 
So I guess that's the main goal. I've 
thought about a solo album, but you hear 
so many solo albums where the main thrust 
is just doing the album, not the music 

itself. They get an album deal through con¬ 
nections or reputation or something like 
that. There are a certain number of tunes, 
and you hear a few good cuts, but the rest 
seems to be filler—a bunch of solos or 
something that was thrown together at the 
last minute. And then, there's nothing to 
follow it up with. I see myself right now as 
being young enough to where I don't have 
to be so worried about having a solo album 
out as soon as possible. Right now, the 
most important thing is writing, and spe¬ 
cifically, getting a direction. I go in a lot of 
different directions, so it's important to 
understand which things fall into which 
categories. If you try to make an album 
where there's a vocal tune, an instrumental 
tune, an avant-garde percussion piece, you 
know, just mix and match, you're not 
doing anybody a favor. First of all, the 
audience for that kind of album would be 
small. It would have to be people who liked 
to have a lot of different things on one 
piece of plastic. I think it's better to have a 
direction—this project is like this; that 
project is like that. So that's what I'm 
involved in now—just writing material and 
seeing what fits where. When I do an 
album, it will be done right, or at least as 
right as I can get it. 

Another project I'm involved in is teach¬ 
ing. When I'm not on the road I try to 
maintain a regular teaching schedule. 
Teaching is very challenging, but it is usu¬ 
ally equally rewarding. 

RM: How do you view the role of a percus¬ 
sionist in the context of what is happening 
currently in music? 

EM The thing I always wonder about is 
why more musical ensembles don't take 
greater advantage of percussion. First of 
all, there are so many percussionists 
around, and most of them are unem¬ 
ployed. And there's so much you can do 
with percussion in terms of augmenting 
your sound. It's like I said before: any 
direction anyone's going in, you can make 
it lighter, harder, heavier, deeper, richer, 
softer, or whatever, just by adding all these 
different textures. Percussion has been 
pigeon-holed, to a degree. People have an 
idea of what a xylophone does, for 
instance, and that's what it does and that's 
it. Very few artists have taken advantage 
of what can be gained from adding percus¬ 
sion to a band. 

However, as I mentioned earlier, things 
are changing. The 20th Century has been a 
time of radical change for the percussion 
family, and huge strides have been made in 
terms of its influence on all forms of 
music. Percussion is no longer limited to 
supporting other instruments. Because of 
the wide variety of possibilities, the percus¬ 
sion family is finally being recognized as a 
self-supportive instrumental section which 
is capable of delivering major themes and 
statements. Overall, I'd say that these 
advances, combined with new directions in 
pop and rock music, will lead to a bright 
future for percussion. (g 




rn s 


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L . 



Inspiration For Innovators: Part II 

by Sal Sofia 

In Part I, the traditional rudiments, the Flam Accent and the 
Swiss Flam Accent, were defined, developed and applied to the 
drum set. 

To apply the Flam Accent and the Swiss Flam Accent in a mod¬ 
ern musical context, I've written the following rhythms which keep 
the time and create a stylized background. 


A) R.H. plays on the Bell of Cym. and FI. Tom, while the L.H. 
plays between the Sn. Dr. and Sm. Tom. At the same time, the 
Bass Dr. and Hi-hat produce a pedal point shuffle. R.H. 

3 3 3 y" 

j 3 '3 3 

B) R.H. plays on the Bell of Cym. (or other Cym. sources) and on 
the FI. Tom. L.H. plays on the Sm. Tom, Sn. Dr. 

The Bass Dr. keeps a pedal point shuffle. The Hi-hat played 
with the L.F. keeps an eighth-note triplet feel. 

3 3 3 3 

^3 ^ =" 3 =* ^ 3 > > 3 

C) L.H. plays on the Ride Cym. R.H. plays on a Cow-bell, Sn. Dr. 
and FI. Tom. Bass Dr. is playing on every quarter note and the 
Hi-hat plays in a polyrhythmic feel. (Cowbell plays in the same 


3 3 ■ - 3 3 


A) L.H. plays on the Ride Cym. R.H. plays on the Cowbell, on 
the second quarter note on the Sn. Dr. and on the third quarter 
on the Sn. Dr. or FI. Tom. The Bass Dr. and Hi-hat plays on 1, 
2, and 3. 

B) R.H. plays on the Bell of Cym. and on the second quarter note 
on the Sn. Dr. L.H. plays on the Sm. Tom, Sn. Dr. and F. 
Tom. The Bass Dr. plays on 1,2, and 3 and the Hi-hat plays on 
eighth notes. 

C) This is a samba in three-four time. L.H. leads on the Hi-hat 
while the R.H. plays among the FI. Tom, Cowbell, Sn. Dr. and 
Sm. Tom (The right hand creates a good Latin background 
because of its similarity to the Latin clave rhythm). The Bass 
Dr. and the Hi-hat are playing in the samba feel. 


D) This is a funk-Latin feel in four-four time. The R.H. plays on 
the Bell of the Ride Cym. and Cowbell, and on the second and 
fourth quarter notes on the Sn. Dr. L.H. plays on the Hi-hat, 
Sm. Tom, Sn. Dr. and FL Tom. Note that even though the Hi- 
hat is splashed on the a of 1 with the L.F., it is played with the 
L.H. as well. Strive for a full, smooth sound. 



Continue to displace the notes of this rudiment around your 
drum set according to the style of music you wish to play. Keep a 
song or melody in mind, and become familiar with the form of the 
song as you practice. For instance, you might try "Green Dolphin 
Street" (form ABC—the A is Latin, BC is swing), "Nica's 
Dream" (form AAB A—the AA is Latin, Bis swing and A is Latin) 
or the like, applying the above rhythms coresponding to its proper 
form. Play them slowly at first until you achieve a clean, free-flow¬ 
ing sound. Then, innovate by breaking down the rudiment with 
your own ideas creating a solid groove from which to build your 

To be a superior drummer, it's essential to be thoroughly profi¬ 
cient in keeping time. A key factor in time keeping is "tempo mod¬ 
ulation," or, varying the pulse rate at which the composition 
moves within the time. To achieve this shift in tempo from four- 
four to six-four time, the triple quarter notes are played without 
emphasizing the triple feel. Think of them as six quarter notes 
inside of four-four time. For instance, as indicated below, the flam 
accent used thus far is played as in A. The Hi-hat is played in a 
quarter note triple feel and the Bass Dr. is played on every quarter 
note. Once you're comfortable with this and you hear the six 
against the four, do not play the Bass Dr., and treat the Hi-hat as if- 
it were the quarter note indicated in B. Here the triple flam accent is 
played as single eighth notes, still retaining the form of the flam 
accent with the right and left hands, resulting in a shift in tempo to 
six-four time. (Please note the metronome markings.) In C, to 
complete the rudiment, modulate the eighth-note flam accent into 
a triple flam accent in six-four time. 




4- 60 

rrrr rr 



3 3 3 3 3 3 

> > > > 

A study suggestion would be to play B with a jazz interpretation 

J~i = jT] 

and by playing the Cym. part only, you obtain the six-four time to 
be played on the Ride Cym. 

> 3 „ > 3 ^ 

^i J i| 

Keep four bars of four-four Jazz time, then play A. Keep four bars 
of the above rhythm, then go to B. Keep four bars of the six-four 
time (you can also use a six-four time from your own repertoire) 
and then, go to C. Play C for four bars. This should facilitate 
learning the time keeping concept. 

To further increase your understanding of breaking down the 
rudiment, I have written some flam accents in the six-four time 
feel. These patterns can also be incorporated in the B part of tempo 
modulation as explained above. 

Pattern 1: based on a single stroke flam accent. In A and B, shift 
from the Sn. Dr. to the Bass Dr. while keeping time with the Hi-hat 
played with the L.F. 



fc a 

lr f f 1 

1 * * « 


In C and D, continue to shift from the Ride Cym. to the Hi-hat 
played with the L.F. 

Pattern 2: based on the Swissflam accent. 

The shifting procedure does not differ from Pattern 1. 

Pattern 3: a compound of the single stroke and the Swissflam 

Part B is the inverted form of Part A for more dexterous playing. 

To end this article I have written the two remaining variations of 
the flam accent to be played and divided on the drum set as it has 
been presented in the two parts of this article. This article was 
written to inspire and cultivate the innovative ability that everyone 
has. Be sure to be open to any new ideas that may evolve from these 
exercises. Remember, the more you practice and write these ideas, 
the more your natural ability will emerge. 

The top line is the Single Stroke Flam Accent and the bottom line 
is the variation of the Swiss Rudiment. 

3 3 3 3 

11*4 M 






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L R R 

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L R R 

L R L 
L R R 

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MD readers may write directly to: Sal Sofia, 6 Avenue J, Brook¬ 
lyn, New York 11230. 






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by David Samuels 


There is a general lack of material written about chordal playing 
on mallet instruments. There are, to be sure, a lot of pieces per¬ 
formed by mallet players that include chordal playing, but little is 
understood in terms of how to create chords on the instrument. 
Choosing a chord voicing is like choosing a note in an improvised 
line. Choosing notes for a voicing is not only a matter of deciding 
where the notes are to be played, but also realizing what effect and 
impact that voicing will have on the music. Take, for example, a 
major triad. The standard way of voicing a major triad is in a 
closed root position—where the outer two notes are less than an 
octave apart. 

for Mallets 


This voicing is perfectly acceptable, but should not be your only 
choice for voicing a triad. An alternative to the closed-position 
voicing would be to play an open-position voicing where the outer 
two notes are more than an octave apart. The following piece is a 
series of major triads in open position. 

Now go back and play this same progression in closed position. 
Be aware of the totally different effects between the open-position 
voicing and the closed-position voicing. 

You can also play this progression by arpeggiating the chords 
either up or down. 

fa ft ft ft ft ft ft ft ft i 

Or try this variation on the same progression. 

You can also take the open position chord voicing for the major 
triad and apply it to the minor triad. 


y —o - 


*r — — 




r v 


Now play the following progression. 



C- A- D- E“ B-— 

- I- 



l ’ I 'J 




: "H 



C|- Bb- 

I have also included all the possible combinations of playing this 
triad. As you play through these combinations, be aware of the 
different kinds of effects that rearranging the notes has. 

> T , U • j M r j 

Make sure that as you play through these triads you're aware of 
what chord you're playing, the sound quality of the chord, and the 
visual shape of the chord. 

The next piece combines both major and minor triads, along 
with their inversions (an inversion of a chord is when any note 
other than the root is played as the bass note). The standard nota¬ 
tion for an inversion is a slash mark — where the letter is above the 
slash indicates the triad or chord and the letter below the slash 

indicates the bass note (not the root of the chord). A chord symbol 
like C/E means that you play a C triad wtih an E, or third, of the 
chord in the bass. The symbol F-/Ab means that you play the F 
minor triad with an A-flat in the bass. It is not unusual to see this 
kind of chord symbol where the bass note is not a chord tone in the 
triad above it i.e. Ab/G where an A flat major triad is played over a 
G bass note or E/F where an E major triad is played over an F bass 







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History of Rock Drumming continuedfrompage 21 

"We all had rhythm charts that Jack Nitzche used to write for 
everybody. He worked with Phil on it, but Phil would also hum 
parts that he wanted or tell guys what to play. Phil was a guitarist; 
the first guy to use four rhythm guitars at the same time! And two 
basses. It was only one set of drums in those days, but we had ten 
guys shaking shakers, noisemakers, jingle bells . . . anything! The 
famous castanets started with Phil Spector. I pulled them out one 
day, laid them down and I said to Frank Capp, ’Beat the heck out 
of these.’ And I gave him two more castanets to play on them. 
Everybody said, ’You’re nuts. You can’t do that.’ Phil said, ’What 
is that? Leave it!’ It really became a very integral part of the Phil 
Spector sound: castanets on a rock and roll record!" 

Hal sent me a copy of his resume which devastated a big part of 
my life in the ’60s. Bruce Gary summed it up best: "One of my 
biggest disappointments in life was finding out that a dozen of my 
favorite drummers were Hal Blaine." What the resume pointed 
out, in effect, was that many, many of the groups that had big hits 
were not even on their own records, particularly on the hit singles. 
Groups like The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Buckinghams, Gary 
Puckett & The Union Gap, Paul Revere & The Raiders were almost 
all done by studio musicians, and Hal Blaine played on a lot of 

"I don’t even think they mentioned me on any of the albums," 
Blaine said. "In those days they didn't do that. The shit hit the fan 
with The Monkees. It was considered a scandal that The Monkees 
didn't make their own records. It broke to the world in all the 
trades and movie magazines that not only didn't The Monkees— 
nobody did! We did everybody's records from pop to rock because 
of superstition; because we had the hit sound. We were the hitmak- 
ers. Some people called us 'The Wrecking Crew.’ We were the first 
guys to come in to the studios wearing Levis, and smoke cigarettes 
during the session and leave dirty ashtrays. Studios were never that 
way. They were very, very 'Victorian,' if you will. We were an¬ 

other breed! Rock and roll had just started in the '50s. We were 
sophisticating rock a little bit. People really started writing songs 
and it changed. Studios were getting more efficient electronically. 
More tracks were coming along and you could do more. The whole 
thing evolved with the same gang of musicians as the technology 
got better. It was myself, Carol Kaye, Tommy Tedesco, Glenn 
Campbell, Bill Pittman, Steve Douglas, Ray Pullman, Billy 
Strange, Lyle Ritz and Larry Knechtel. We used to call ourselves 
’The Dirty Dozen.' 

"That's when my big set of drums happened," Hal told Flans. 
"My set of drums always had twelve drums, which no one had ever 
heard of, and it really was a major change, which makes me very 
proud. In those days, a drummer only used a small tom and a big 
tom, and once in a while, two small toms and two big toms, but 
never over four toms. I wanted a full, bigger spectrum of sound to 
be able to do more with drums." 

Ludwig still retains the Octaplus outfit. Hal's kit is and was a 
blue-sparkle set with seven toms: 6", 8", 10", 12", 13", 14", and 
16". The bass is 22" and he alternates between a 6" and a 5" metal 
snare. His bass drum heads are calfskin and he uses Remo Diplo¬ 
mats on the toms. 

Frank Capp was also involved with the Spector sessions and de¬ 
serves mention. Although he contributed to the "wall-of-sound," 
Capp more or less shrugged it all off. "I hate to say this," he said, 
"but, I was sort of the rock and roll percussion player out here in 
the '60s. I invented all kinds of strange sounds; effects that Phil 
Spector would ask for. I never really got into playing rock drums 
until I did Sonny & Cher's stuff. I did 'I Got You Babe' but I'm 
primarily a jazz drummer. I'm not a rock drummer. I made the 
transition out of necessity and out of a challenge just to do it. I was 
like a studio rock percussion player: tympani, xylophone, but 
mainly hand percussion. 

"I was with Stan Kenton when I was nineteen. I'm fifty now. 
I've done literally thousands of record dates but I can't remember 
them. I may have saved 200 or 250 albums I've done that I particu¬ 
larly liked. 

"The Spector dates could be anywhere from a minimum of two 
to three hours, to a maximum of two weeks. I recall a date where 
we went in for like six sessions over a two week period for one 
song! Eighteen hours of recording. It was like the Chinese water 
torture, but who can criticize it? Whether Phil knew what he was 
doing or not is not the point. He made himself a fortune." 

The sound of "surf music" continued in popularity and The 
Beach Boys took the "surf" sound of bands like The Ventures and 
added some group vocal harmonization they took from pop 
groups like The Four Freshman and The Hi-Lo's. The first hit was 
"Surfin* Safari" in 1962 followed by "Surfin' U.S.A." in '63, 
"Surfer Girl" and then "Little Deuce Coupe." This song was the 
first of many recordings about cars and racing. Dennis Wilson was 
the official drummer for the band, but appeared very infrequently, 
if at all, on any of The Beach Boys records—certainly not on very 
many of their hits. This has been verified by Hal Blaine who played 
on most of the hits, and by other studio musicians, like Carol 
Kaye, who played guitar and bass on The Beach Boys' hits. 

From '63 until '66, the hits just kept oncoming, like "Fun, Fun, 
Fun," "I Get Around," "Little Honda," "Help Me, Rhonda," 
"California Girls," and "Barbara Ann." The drumming on most 
of these records is pretty basic. There were no real major innova¬ 
tions in drumming. Much of the first Beach Boys records—"Sur¬ 
fin' Safari," for example—borrowed heavily from Chuck Berry, 
rhythmically, lyrically, and chordally. Most of the drumming is 
basic two and four backbeat drumming. The major change for the 
group came in 1966 with "Good Vibrations." The song was totally 
unique at the time and included drums that were used only to 
accent parts of the tune, and used at other times to keep time. The 
song went through a few time changes and mood swings. Studio 
musician Carol Kaye said: " 'Good Vibrations' took twelve record 
dates. It took us a long time to groove. But, everything on that 
record came out of Brian's head." [Brian Wilson was the song¬ 
writer/arranger for The Beach Boys.] "Heroes and Villains" was 



their last hit in'67, similar in approach to "Good Vibrations," and 
then the group was off the scene until the 70s. It's also important 
to point out that, influenced by the Spector sound, Brian Wilson 
would include odd percussion sounds, like sleigh bells and casta¬ 
nets, on his records, particularly toward the end of the '60s. 

Around 1962 a group emerged, made up of all New York and 
New Jersey musicians, called The Four Seasons. Their first hit was 
"Sherry" followed by "Big Girls Don't Cry" and "Walk Like A 
Man." The Four Seasons became one of the biggest groups of the 
'60s and the drummer was Buddy Saltzman. The conga drums 
were prominent in this music and Saltzman's drum parts were very 
unique. His sound was very open, melodic and rock solid. His 
introduction to "Walk Like a Man" sounds like a fill Max Roach 
might play. The Four Seasons songs were also accompanied by 
heavy handclapping that gave the music a subtle "march music" 
effect. In 1964, the group hit with "Candy Girl" that featured 
scrapers, Latin hand drums, strings, and a clave drum beat, plus 
tympani. From '64 through '68 they had several hits: "Stay," 
"Rag Doll," "Dawn Go Away," "Let's Hang On," "Big Man In 
Town," "Working My Way Back To You," "Tell It To The 
Rain" and "C'Mon Marianne" among others. 

Meanwhile, back on the West Coast, two singers named Jan & 
Dean started cranking out hit after hit, backed by either Earl 
Palmer or Hal Blaine on drums. "Linda" was the first hit in 1961, 
and then "Surf City" really hit big in 1963. 

All of Jan & Dean's records were involved with racing, surfing, 
or skateboarding. The drumming was precise and right for the mu¬ 
sic, and the songs were hits. 

The '60s was also a decade where black musicians were able to 
cross over into the white market on a grand scale. For example, 
James Brown from the mid-'50s to the '60s sold millions of records 
in the U.S., but was almost unknown to white people. Brown used 
several drummers throughout his career, often times using any¬ 
where from two to five drummers in concert. Attempts to correlate 
specific drummers with specific songs proved unfruitful. But, the 
drumming on James Brown's records was some of the most inno¬ 
vative in the '60s. David Garibaldi, who turned many heads with 
his drumming for Tower of Power in the 70s, told me that his 
conception of drumming did a complete turnaround when he saw 
James Brown in 1965. 

Brown took the rawest element of the blues, slicked it up with 
horns that sounded like whip cracks they were so tight, and the 
drummers would groove you into a frenzy. Listen to "Please, 
Please, Please" from 1956. The critics complained of the "same¬ 
ness" in Brown's music—but it was the same kind of complaint 
that could be leveled at Howlin' Wolf. What the critics missed was 
that the sameness of the music, the repetition, the groove play¬ 
ing—all that was precisely the heart of Brown's songs. "Papa's 
Got A Brand New Bag" was released in 1965. The drummer plays 
backbeats with a rim click on the snare, the bass drum is locked in 
tight with the bass player, and the hi-hat swish accents augment the 
horns perfectly. Early tunes like "Mashed Potatoes" were a 
strange blend ofjazz and r&b that became the inspiration for Miles 
Davis Bitch's Brew album that turned the jazz world right around. 
"Cold Sweat" came out in 1967, followed by "Lickin' Stick- 
Lickin' Stick (Part 1)" in '68, and then "Say It Loud, I'm Black 
andl'mProud." 1969 produced "Mother Popcorn," "Give It Up 
or Turn It Loose," and Brown continued to groove well into the 

Perhaps the most famous black-owned record company to 
emerge in the '60s was Motown, out of Detroit. The drumming on 
Motown records could be a major study in itself. I had quite a time 
trying to put the pieces together on which drummers did what 
songs for Motown, and after several weeks' worth of research, I 
still haven't been able to put all the pieces together. 

The premise of The History of Rock Drumming was to put the 
spotlight on the drummers who were responsible for the evolution 
of the music. In researching Motown I heard stories that not all of 
the Motown music was recorded in Detroit. Some was recorded in 

continued on next page 



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Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles using musicians from each 
of those areas. I think the best thing to do is present the different 
stories and let the reader make up his or her own mind. This is not 
to slight Motown or any of the players who may or may not have 
performed on the recordings. In fairness to the musicians—in this 
case specifically the drummers—I think it's important to know 
who was responsible for creating the drumming on those classic 
rock records. 

Motown did begin in Detroit, founded by Berry Gordy, an ex¬ 
boxer who failed in the retail record business and went into making 
his own records. Motown was the result. The writing team of Hol¬ 
land, Dozier, Holland was responsible for the great majority of 
Motown hits. I spoke with Brian Holland at his office in L.A., and 
he spoke about two drummers who recorded in Detroit for Mo¬ 
town: Richard Henry Allen (a.k.a. "Pistol"), and Benny Ben¬ 
jamin. I asked Mr. Holland if he could tell me who the drummers 
were on the Motown records. 

"There wasn't about but three main drummers that we used," 
he said. "Benny Benjamin was probably the most frequently used 
on most of those songs, and a guy named ' Pistol' was another one. 
'Pistol' was more of a 'shuffle' kind of drummer. He was best at 
the 'shuffles.' Benny Benjamin was the best at the 4/4 and the 2/4 
beat. We used a couple more but those are the premier drummers 
we used back then. 

"I don't know too much about Benny's background. He used to 
play with a lot of big bands before he got with Motown. We kept 
him on as a studio musician. He could read music, but you'd basi¬ 
cally not have a real drum chart per se. It was more or less just a 
rhythm chart. The producer would basically tell him what he 
wanted. Sometimes they'd write out a few drum parts on a few 
breaks, but mainly they felt their way through most of that stuff. 
Sometimes those guys would go out on the road with an act and 
that's when we'd call the other three or four percent of the drum¬ 
mers. They were fantastic, believe me. We never really realized 


how great those guys were back then. Looking back in retrospect, 
it was really amazing and phenomenal how that stuff came out. 
Benny was a great drummer. I could play some things back now 
and listen to his pickups. The timing that he had was just unbeat¬ 
able. Really unbeatable. He always felt the music as he went along. 
He would hum the music and sing along with the music just as 
happy as he could be. And he would always say, 'Man, that's a 
hit.' Most of the time he was right." 

What was interesting to learn was the discipline involved with 
the Motown musicians. For instance, the rhythm section were on 
salary in a literal nine to five job as studio musicians at Motown. 
One of the most difficult things about finding out who played on 
what, was that the musicians never knew what songs they were 
working on. Michael Carvin, a well respected drummer now living 
in New York City, was a studio drummer at Motown in the later 
years. He gave a great description of what it was like to be in that 

"Motown was a funny place. It was like working in a factory. 
We had I.D. cards and they had heavy security and all that. I don't 
know what records I played on because we cut rhythm tracks like 
the guy whose job it is to put fenders on a car. I don't know what 
color the cat is painting the car because it's painted further down 
the line! We would just make the fenders. Then when they got the 
fenders the way they wanted them to be ... then they would de¬ 
cide what car this fender would go on. It might be Marvin Gaye, 
Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder . . . then they would put that fender 
on that particular car. Now they would paint it. It might be a 
thirty-two piece orchestra when it was finished. That's why they 
always had a 'feeling.' 

"I was there with Harvey Fuquar and Smokey Robinson. Har¬ 
vey was doing all the arranging then. We would go in at nine in the 
morning. We'd come out about five-thirty or six o'clock. Harvey 
would say, 'Okay, lay this groove down.' We would finally get it. 
Then he'd say, 'Okay. Now lay this down.' It would be in layers. 
This is going to be the bridge. Now, the name of the tune? We 
don't know. Who is singing it? We don't know. We'd just do that 
all day, man. It wasn't that they were keeping any secrets. It's just 
that they didn't know. 'Heat Wave' wasn't written for Martha and 
The Vandellas. It was written for Marvin Gaye but it was too high 
for his range the way they were hearing it. It was the company, 
man. That's why they were successful. There weren't any egos. 
Harvey would listen to it and say, 'Man, this sounds like something 
that The Four Tops would eat up. This sounds like their kind of 
beat.' So that's who they would give it to. 

"I remember when The Spinners used to rehearse everyday, 
man, for two years on salary. Motown worked like this with an 
artist: Until you get a rhythm section, you know you're not going 
anywhere. Once you get a rhythm section you go upstairs to the 
third or fourth floor ... I don't remember now. Then you could 
say, 'Well, we'll be going out soon.' Then, once you get a rhythm 
section and a choreographer, you know you're on your way. It was 
business. That's why everytime you saw an act ... it was pol¬ 

"See, you could be a helluva reader and you couldn't play the 
Motown music. It was a school within itself. It was a school about 
putting the beat in the pocket and it was good experience for me 
because it was nothing like you would encounter in Western music. 
A lot of the cats can read all of the notes and all that—and that's 
great—but that has nothing to do with playing Motown music. 
Motown music messed up most drummers because it was written 
with four-way coordination. What he wanted you to play on bass 
drum was written. What he wanted you to play with your left hand 
was written. What he wanted you to play with your right hand—it 
was written. You had to coordinate that stuff and that's what 
messed up most cats. 

"Pistol and Benny Benjamin invented the sound. Then Harvey 
Fuquar translated the sound. The standard was set when I showed. 
I never met Pistol or Benny but I knew their names because I was 
constantly reminded of them. Motown is the bebop of rock. Now 
you have fusion and all of that. It came from Motown and bebop. 
That's what fusion is. If you really listen to the bass drum of the 


Motown drummers, it's playing the melody. That's why I call it the 
bebop of rock, because the bebop drummers played the melody." 

Brian Holland verified Michael Carvin's story that the rhythm 
section never knew what songs they were playing. "That's what we 
did 98% of the time," he said. "We'd go in and record the track 
with maybe four or five pieces at most, and then go back and dub in 
the lead and the group. Then you maybe, or maybe not, dub the 
strings in. But, we did do the rhythm track first back then. Basi¬ 
cally, that's what they do now, but we were doing that then. That 
was unusual at the time. They had no idea what songs they were 
going to be playing on at all. 

"And we never heard of a click track. There was no such thing 
back then. Back then, there was just a few guys around and always 
we found the best ones. That's the reason we just mainly used those 
two or three guys. They were straight and they knew how to keep 
the time and tempo right." 

Tony Bongiovi, one of the owners of The Power Station Record¬ 
ing Studio in New York City, worked with the producers at Mo¬ 
town from 1967 until 1970. He remembered working with Benny 
Benjamin, a drummer named Euriel Jones, and Pistol. "The 
drummer who did the main stuff, most of The Supremes hits and 
the records that they were famous for like "Reach Out," and 
Smokey Robinson records, "Ooh Baby, Baby' and "Can't Hurry 
Love" ... the guy's name was Benny Benjamin. He's dead. My 
stay at Motown was rather brief because I was working mostly on 
the production of the records. I didn't attend that many sessions. 
But, I know there was Benny Benjamin, and then there was Euriel 
Jones who played the stuff from the later '60s. We did "Love 
Child" with Euriel, and a fellow named Pistol. He played on "Up¬ 

"When they played, they used the traditional grip. One thing 
that was interesting about Benjamin ... if you listen to the re¬ 
cords, the drums have a pretty amazing sound, and it wasn't be¬ 
cause of the engineering at Motown. It was because of the way the 
drummers played. If you walked about ten feet away from Benny 
you couldn't hear him anymore. He played accents, and he knew 
all of his rudiments. He applied all that knowledge and he could 
read music. All of them could read music. All of them played with 
the Detroit Symphony at some point. They all had an amazing feel 
and Benjamin had an amazing foot. He was the best around. He 
played sort of backwards. He was a right-handed drummer and 
instead of leading with his right hand, he'd lead with his left hand. 
That's why all the fills and stuff sound like they came in at weird 
times. He didn't play very loud. None of them played real loud, 
but they played with a certain snap. When they used to hit the 
backbeat they would crack it in there. And they weren't loud. 
None of them played overhand like today's guys do. They bounced 
more. Today's guys, from what I've seen in the studio, they lay 
into the beat more. They just whack it real hard. But, those guys 
sort of snapped it in. You could tell the difference. 

"Buddy Saltzman, who played all The Four Seasons records, 
played the same way as the Motown drummers. They didn't have 
the muffling like they do today, and the drummers controlled the 
way it sounded. We just stuck the mic' right in front of the bass 
drum and depending on how the drummer hit it, that's what gave it 
that sound." 

I asked Bongiovi about Motown sessions in L.A., New York, 
and Chicago. He said, "All the records that were done, the major¬ 
ity of the hits, we know were all cut in Detroit. The musicians in 
Detroit were on some kind of a retainer. Most of the hits like 'Mr. 
Postman' and all those early records that were smashes were all cut 
in Detroit, even 'Cool Jerk,' 'Agent Double-0 Soul' and the Plat¬ 
ters' record 'With This Ring.' What the California guys did were 
special album projects like The Temptations' In A Mellow Mood. I 
used to go into the tape library at Motown and pull the tapes and I 
knew where the stuff was cut because it was written all over the 
tape. It would say 'Universal Recordings. Detroit. Three Track' 
right on the box. Sometimes it would be four track. 

"I'd be very skeptical about what they tell you in California. 

continued on next page 


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Even in New York for that matter, but New York, I would think, 
would be a little more honest about it. There wasn't too much done 
here that I remember other than The Supremes overdubbing in 
New York, and we did a Gladys Knight and The Pips record in New 
York live." 

Earl Palmer was one of the drummers on the West Coast who 
arguably played on many of the Motown hits of the early '60s. He 
said, "I was doing a lot of it until we realized that they were doing 
illegal tracks and sending them back to Detroit and putting The 
Supremes, Marvin Gaye, and all these people on the things. It was 
illegal to do tracks at that time, so they'd come into the studio with 
a couple of girls, The Lewis sisters. We used to always say, 'Boy, 
the Lewis sisters record a lot and never had an album out!' Then 
we'd recognize that they were coming back with The Four Tops, 
Marvin Gaye, The Supremes . . . then we started paying attention 
and we started hearing all the music we were doing back there. 
Eventually Motown paid us a lot of back money that the Union 
had them pay because of all this illegal tracking. But, fortunately 
for me, when they started doing it legally, I still was doing all of 
their stuff out here. Then they started using different guys." 

Frankie Capp is now a music contractor in California; he was 
among the elite group of musicians who were on the Phil Spector 
sessions. This is what Mr. Capp had to add: "I did a lot of early 
Motown stuff like Marvin Gaye before Motown moved to L. A. We 
used to record in Armin Steiner's garage apartment where he had a 
lot of electronic recording gear. We used to do dates there that they 
called 'two for thirty-five.' They were demo dates. For thirty-five 
bucks you'd do two tracks within an hour and a half. Motown did 
a lot of dates there. Earl Palmer was on a lot of those dates. There 
were other drummers at that time like Sharkey Hall, Jesse 
Sailes ... he did a lot of early Motown stuff for Gene Paige. I 
played drums on some of the Motown stuff for Gene Paige. Some¬ 
how those demos would wind up being released. That was before 
we had a union that really policed things. You can't get away with 

that anymore. I can remember back in the mid-'60s, Marvin Gaye, 
The Marvelettes, Diana Ross, The Temptations. A lot of times 
you'd go in to do a date and you wouldn't be doing the date with 
the singers. We'd just be making the track. Then they'd overdub 
the voices. 

"Armin Steiner was just the mix engineer. He didn't have any¬ 
thing to do with the bootlegging part of it. He just did what he was 
being paid for: recording and sending the tapes." 

Carol Kaye, a premier West Coast studio musician, told me 
"We recorded in a studio above Armin Steiner's garage. We did an 
awful lot of records there for about two or three years, and the first 
drummer I worked with was Jesse Sailes. He told Motown about 
me because I'd worked a few other kind of record dates with Jesse. 
He'd done an awful lot of Motown. After that came Earl Palmer 
and they used Paul Humphrey on a few tunes. It was mostly Jesse 
Sailes first and then Earl Palmer. Earl played on some biggies like 
'Love Child' and 'Bernadette.' 

"The Lewis sisters were two white girls who couldn't really sing 
and we spent a lot of time trying to get tracks for them. Come to 
find out it was The Supremes, The Temptations and all that other 

"I met Stevie Wonder there when he was a kid because I played 
on 'I Was Made To Love Her.' Jamie Jamerson was in contention 
with that. [Jamerson was one of the salaried studio musicians—the 
bassist—at Motown in Detroit.] So I listened to the record again 
and said, 'No, that's me because I can remember the mistakes I was 

"They did so many wrong things according to the Union back 
then. They really kept it quiet about what they did. Nobody really 
knew the inside workings on it. Benny Benjamin did the stuff back 
in Detroit. I don't know anything about the Detroit gang. They 
used all the best players. I worked for Motown from '62 through 
'69 and played guitar on a lot of that stuff, like 'Come On Do The 
Jerk.' I didn't play bass until the first of '64.1 played six string bass 
on Martha and The Vandella's 'Dancing In The Street.' It was 
either Sharkey Hall or Earl Palmer on that. Jesse Sailes played all 
the stuff at the Steiner garage things. I think it was Jesse playing on 
'I Was Made To Love Her.' I'm not trying to take away from the 
guys in Detroit, but I don't think they knew about the West Coast 
guys. Jesse Sailes was playing for Motown from about '62 to '64 
and then they used Earl after that. Certain tunes like 'Bernadette,' 
'I Second That Emotion,' 'Dancing In The Streets,' 'Can't Help 
Myself,"Stop In The Name Of Love' . . . those were biggies that 
I know were all West Coast." 

Lee Young, Sr. used to work in the creative department at Mo¬ 
town. Prior to that he was one of the original drummers on the 
Norman Granz Jazz At The Philharmonic tours. In checking out 
the situation of Motown illegally releasing demos, I called Local 
47, The American Federation of Musicians in Los Angeles. They 
had no record of a settlement of that nature, although they did say 
that they were always involved with Motown for something back 
then. But, Lee Young made a lot of sense. "I can give you this 
much information," he said. "The reason Motown got away with 
something like that is because they were in Detroit. The same rules 
didn't apply in Detroit as they did in New York or Los Angeles 
because in a city like that, they're so glad to have people record. 
They used to put musicians on salary and let them record all week 
long. You're not allowed to do that, really, because you pay with 
three-hour sessions. Three hours constitutes a session. You 
couldn't do it in any other place, but Motown could do it in Detroit 
because they were bringing something to Detroit. They were bring¬ 
ing employment to people, I guess. So, I think the Union looked 
the other way. 

"Each jurisdiction will let things go on in their area that, if the 
National office ever found out about it, they'd come down on 
them. But, nobody ever really found out about this until after they 
became successful. Sure, many musicians have really squawked 
about it, but they made the deal at the time because they didn't 
have anything better to do. It was a steady gig. They were paying 
them like $125.00 a week, but they would record every day. It was 



great for them because they were getting this bread. But, see, you 
wouldn't have been able to do that here, or New York, or Chicago. 
So, I think it was like one hand washes the other. They were fortu¬ 
nate enough, because they would not have been able to get started, 
really, if they had not been able to do that. They just stayed in the 
studio around the clock, seven days a week. The musicians knew 
what they were doing because they got their bread. Everybody 
knew what they were doing. It wasn't a vicious thing." 

The bottom line is that there's a lot of good drumming on Mo¬ 
town records. Brian Holland, in reminiscing about Benny Ben¬ 
jamin who died in the late '60s said, "There's no Benny Benjamin 
around. The drummers played a premier, emotional part in the 
creation of Motown's music. A couple of these guys like Benny 
and Pistol always were emotionally into it; not like a mechanical 
guy just up there playing drums. They were unique. These guys 
today just want to get a paycheck. 

"It's almost like the guy was saying on TV. He said, 'Are there 
any more great baseball players?' No. You can't find no Joe Di- 
Maggio no more; no Jackie Robinson, no Babe Ruth. All these 
guys out there want to hit the ball for big paychecks. They're not 
really in the game of baseball like the guys were back then. And I 
can understand that, and I can relate to what he was saying. The 
same thing goes for these musicians back then. Even the pro¬ 
ducers, like a Phil Spector, man. You don't find them kind of pro¬ 
ducers who, night and day, get into it. They are just not the same. 
Believe me. Benny had to play at least 75°7o of the songs. He was a 
great one, man, I'm telling you." 

As for the recordings being done on the two coasts, Brian Hol¬ 
land said: "Well, very infrequent. Once in a while my music part¬ 
ner, Lamont Dozier, we would come out to cut a session. Most of 
those things were basically mechanical type things. We might've 
got a hit once or twice out of it, but we stayed in Detroit because 
they didn't have the same kind of feelings back then like they did in 
Detroit. New York was pretty good. But, we did a few things in 
both places. True enough. 

"It was almost like I'd say, 'Hey, let's go on a vacation. And 
while we're on vacation . . . let's cut a few things.' That's basi¬ 
cally what it was." 

I like Michael Carvin's description of Motown as the "bebop of 
rock." There are some excellent albums available; anthologies of 
people like The Supremes, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Mar¬ 
tha and The Vandellas, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Jr. 
Walker and The All Stars, Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye. I 
suggest they be studied. Or, if you're budget conscious, go out and 
buy The Temptations Greatest Hits. The drumming is incredible. 
Like most of the Motown drumming, it's musical, inventive, crea¬ 
tive, the drums are tuned beautifully, and it serves as a model for 
tasty rock drumming. In a world where so much of the drumming 
is mechanized to the point where the listener doesn't know if it's a 
human being or not—Motown drumming is like the end of the 

I Wish It Would Rain Temptations 

Signed, Sealed, Delivered Stevie Wonder 

Mickey s Monkey Smokey Robinson and the 

In Part 4, we'll take a look at the British invasion, the Wood- 
stock generation, more Soul music, and go all the way up to the 



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Caribbean Percussion 

by John Amira 

The conga drum is a greatly misunderstood and underrated 
instrument. To begin with, the Cuban name "conga" is just one of 
many names used for drums of this type throughout Western 
Africa and the Caribbean. Since it was Cuba that introduced this 
drum to us in various forms of Latin music, "conga" is the name 
by which it is known. 

There are two approaches to learning the conga drum: the mod¬ 
ern and the traditional. Using the modern approach, the percus¬ 
sionist—who may have no previous background in this instru¬ 
ment—learns two or three different sounds which can be produced 
on the conga, and then proceeds to make up whatever rhythmic 
patterns he feels may fit the music he's accompanying. The tradi¬ 
tional approach, however, involves learning at least five distinct 
sounds plus variations on each of them, bringing the total up to 
around fifteen. Furthermore, it involves learning possibly hun¬ 
dreds of rhythms which may be used individually or in various 

I would like to present the traditional approach because I believe 
a solid understanding of fundamental concepts is necessary before 
one should consider inventing rhythms. Many established rhythms 
may fit perfectly in various modern applications. 

The five basic sounds and the symbols for each sound are as 

0 —An open tone, produced by striking the edge of the head 
with the part of the hand stretching from the center of the 
palm to the fingertips, including the thumb. 

M — A muffled tone or a "muff," produced by striking the edge 
of the head with the full length of the fingers, except the 
thumb, and pressing them into the skin. 

B — A bass tone, produced by striking the center of the head with 
the full hand, including the thumb, in a cupped position. 

S — A slap, produced by striking the edge of the head with the 
full hand, excluding the thumb, in a cupped position. 

R —A rim shot, produced by striking the edge of the head with 
half of the index finger. 

These symbols are necessary to distinguish one sound from 
another in the written notation. I've found that standard notation 
is too cumbersome and not exact enough for this type of drum¬ 
ming. I have developed a different form of notation which is more 

With my notation, graph paper is preferable to staff paper. 
According to the time signature, each column is assigned a number 
until one measure is complete. Then it repeats. Under each num¬ 
ber, a symbol or space may appear, depending on the rhythm. 
Before each line of symbols, either R or L indicates which hand is 
used. A simple 6/8 rhythm would be written as follows: 










































The darker vertical lines are used to surround the downbeat. In 
certain cases each number is separated by a dot to show a greater 
number of notes per measure. A typical example of a 4/4 rhythm 
would be: 



2 k 






a' * 












L 1 


H L 





[ lb. 







If it becomes necessary to show notes between the columns, they 
are simply written on the vertical lines as illustrated: 










i. t 








! )1 



S_ l J 

B O 






} ? 


') f 

Once again, the downbeat is indicated with darker lines. The typi¬ 
cal way of counting the downbeat is twice per measure. 

This description of notation is to graphically explain the clave 
rhythm which is the most fundamental concept of all West African 
and Caribbean music and precedes the study of the drum itself. 

Clave is a Spanish word which means keystone. A keystone is the 
central stone at the top of an arch which locks the other stones in 
place. There are other names for this type of rhythm, but clave is 
probably the best because its function is to hold all the accompany¬ 
ing rhythms locked in place. 

There are several different forms of clave but they all conform to 
the same specifications: 

A. They are two measures long. 

B. The first measure can be felt as dominant or positive in com¬ 
parison to the second measure which is subordinate or nega¬ 

C. The first measure must always have a note in the column 
before the second downbeat, and the second measure must 
always have a note in column number two. Below I've illus¬ 
trated the main forms of clave: 










2 * 














!fr _ 




























i x 












“ • 























0 = open tone M = muff S = slap R = rim shot B = bass E = stick on edge T = touch 



Because clave is the focal point of the music, it is placed either on a 
bell, a couple of sticks, or clapped by hand so that the sound will be 
sharp enough to stand out from the drums. Since it is a nondescript 
sound, it will be represented by the letter X. 

Once the principles of clave are understood, the various drum 

patterns built around it can be studied. Most of these patterns are 
made with three differently tuned drums always placed in a specific 
position to the clave rhythm. Even the drum that's soloing does so 
in a fixed relationship to the clave. 

Let's examine the Cuban rhythm known as Guaguanco: 

































































































































































The clave pattern is at the top. Below it is the low drum. A new 
symbol, T, is added to represent a tap played in the center of the 
skin with the fingers. The next pattern is the middle drum. Notice 
how both drums have a bass note coinciding with the second note 
of the clave. This is one of the main accents of the Guaguanco 

rhythm. The high drum which solos is at the bottom. Illustrated 
are just a few of the many, many patterns used in soloing. 

Some good recordings of this rhythm are on side B of 
Guaguanco (Puchito MLP-565). 

The Haitian Yanvalou rhythm will be our other example: 



















































































































B 1 





































































At the top is another clave pattern. Below it is the high drum, 
played with sticks instead of hands. Below that is the middle drum 
played with hands. At the botton, the low drum is played with a 
stick in the right hand only. The symbol E represents the stick hit 
on the edge of the drum. Also the double 0° in column 4 represents 
a flam. (All notation should be reversed for left-handed people.) 

A good example of this rhythm can be heard on Vaudou en Haiti 

i(Macaya 103) in the selection entitled "Logo." 

The rhythms I have presented are just a small portion of what 
can be played on conga drums. It is a lifetime study as is any other 
instrument, but it's well worth it whether you're interested in mak¬ 
ing it your specialty or just looking to enhance another form of 


Sometimes, we buy them. 
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Sometimes, we trade them. 
Sometimes, we repair them. 
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But, ALWAYS, we love them. 



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ECM-1-1216. Pat Metheny: guitar synthe¬ 
sizer, guitar, synclavier guitar. Lyle Mays: 
piano, synthesizer, autoharp, organ, syn¬ 
clavier. Steve Rodby: acoustic and electric 
bass. Nana Vasconcelos: percussion, 
voice, berimbau. Dan Gottlieb: drums. 
Barcarole/Are You Going With Me/Au 
Lait/Eighteen/Offramp/James/The Bat 
part II. 

In the two years since their last album, 
the Metheny Group has changed bass play¬ 
ers, added a percussionist, and continued 
to be influenced by anything and every¬ 
thing. The music ranges from the Ornette 
Coleman inspired "Offramp" to the 
James Taylor inspired "James." Gottlieb 
and Vasconcelos work well together and 
provide a constant rhythmic thrust. 

WEATHER REPORT — Weather Report. 
Arc-Columbia FC37616. Zawinul: electric 
keyboards, percussion. Wayne Shorter: 
tenor and soprano saxophones. Jaco Pas- 
torius: bass guitar, percussion, voice. Pe¬ 
ter Erskine: drums, drum computer, 
claves. Robert Thomas, Jr.: hand drums, 
tambourines. Volcano For Hire/Current 
Affairs/N. Y. C./Dara Factor One/When 
It Was Now/Speechless/Dara Factor 

Pastorius and Erskine were the tightest 
rhythm section Weather Report ever had, 
and this record shows it. Good variety of 
tunes, and excellent playing throughout. 
Check out Erskine's use of a drum com¬ 
puter on "When It Was Now." 

KOYO TAYLOR—From The Heart of a 
Woman. Alligator AL-4724. Koko Tay¬ 
lor: vocals. Vince Chappelle: drums. Criss 
Johnson: guitar. Sammy Lawhorn: guitar. 
Bill Heid: keyboards. Cornelius Boyson: 
bass. Something Strange Is Going On/I'd 
Rather Go Blind/Keep Your Hands Off 

Him/Thanks, But No Thanks/If You Got 
A Heartache/Never Trust A Man/Sure 
Had A Wonderful Time Last Night/Blow 
Top Blues/If Walls Could Talk/It Took A 
Long Time. 

Koko Taylor is a veteran blues singer 
and Vince Chappelle is a relatively new- 
name drummer. This album takes the best 
of the blues, injected with what's happen¬ 
ing today, and the result is a very powerful 
album. Chappelle plays great drums. 

SENGER — Straight Ahead. Concord CJ- 
168. Art Blakey: drums. Charles Fam- 
brough: bass. Wynton Marsalis: trumpet. 
Bill Pierce: tenor sax. Bobby Watson: alto 
sax. James Williams: piano. Falling In 
Love With Love/My Romance AW ebb 
City/How Deep Is The Ocean/E.T.A./ 
The Theme. 

Blakey just gets better all the time. This 
is a funny album. If you have ears it'll 
make you laugh. The songs were recorded 
live at The Keystone Korner and it burns 
and swings from start to finish. 

MIKE MAINIERI — Wanderlust. Warner 
Bros. BSK3586. Mike Mainieri: vibes, ma¬ 
rimba. Mike Brecker: saxes. Warren 
Bernhardt: piano, synthesizers. Peter 
Erskine: drums. Don Grolnick: key¬ 
boards. Steve Khan: guitar. Marcus 
Miller: bass. Tony Levin: bass. Jeremy 
Steig: flutes. Kazumi Watanabe: guitar. 
Manolo Badrena: percussion, berembau. 
Sammy Figueroa: percussion. Roger 
Souitero: percussion. Ed Walsh: program¬ 
mer. Bullet Train/Sara's Touch/Crossed 
Wires/Flying Colours/L 'Image/Bam¬ 
boo/ Wanderlust. 

A pleasant album from some of today's 
top musicians. Erskine is given the chance 
to show off some different sides of his play¬ 

LEVON HELM — Levon Helm. Capital/ 
Musciel Shoals ST-12201. Levon Helm, 
Mickey Buckins, Owen Hale, Roger 
Hawkins: drums & percussion. Duncan 
Cameron, Pete Carr, Earl Gate, Jimmy 
Johnson, Wayne Perkins: guitars. Barry 
Beckett, Ernie Gate, Steve Nathan: key¬ 
boards. Jimmy "Doc" Simpson: clarinet. 
Ronnie Eades: baritone sax. Robert 
Harwell, Harvey Thompson: tenor sax. 
Charles Rose: trombone. Ben Cauley, 
Harrison Calloway: trumpet. Ava Al¬ 
dridge, Bonnie Bramlett, Robert Byrne, 
Terry Cagle, Ron Eoff, Lenny LeBlanc, 
Mac McAnally, Will McFarlane, Wayne 
Perkins, Russell Smith, Richie Supa: vo¬ 
cals. Levon Helm: drums, mandolin, vo¬ 
cals. You Can't Win 'Em All/Lucrecia/ 
Even A Fool Would Let Go/I've Got A 
Bet With Myself/Money/Get Out Your 
Big Roll DaddyAWillie and The Hand 
Jive/The Got Song/Give A Little Bit/God 
Bless 'Em All. 

This is Levon's fourth solo album and 
his best since his lp with the RCO AllStars. 
Helm is an amazing man. He sings great, 
he plays great drums (even though he'd be 
the first to say "no") and he plays the man¬ 
dolin great. This is a "good time" album 
that crosses between rock, country, and 

GALLERY — Gallery. ECM-1-1206. 
David Samuels: vibraharp, marimba. Mi¬ 
chael DiPasqua: drums, percussion. Paul 
McCandless: soprano saxophone, oboe, 
english horn. David Darling: cello. Ratzo 
Harris: bass. Soaring/Prelude/A Lost 
Game/Painting/Pale Sun/Egret/Night 

Vibes, woodwinds and cello combine to 
give Gallery a truly unique sound. This al¬ 
bum shows off Samuels' composing as well 
as his playing, and drummer DiPasqua 
plays tastefully throughout. 



ban Bushmen. ECM-2-1211. Lester 
Bowie: trumpet. Joseph Jarman: wood¬ 
winds, percussion. Roscoe Mitchell: 
woodwinds, percussion. Malachi Favors 
Maghostut: bass, percussion. Famoudou 
Don Moye: "Sun Percussion." Prome¬ 
nade: Cote Bamako I/Bush Magic/Urban 
Magic/Sun Percussion Two/Theme For 
Sco/New York Is Full Of Lonely People/ 
Ancestral Meditation/Uncle/Peter and 
Judith/Promenade: Cote Bamako III 

This record does an excellent job of cap¬ 
turing the excitement and diversity of the 
Art Ensemble. Moye is a true virtuoso, and 
his playing alone is worth the price of this 
double album. But that is not to slight the 
other members—the whole group is in¬ 

BUDDY GUY— Stone Crazy! Alligator 
AL-4723. Buddy Guy: guitar and vocals. 
Ray Allison: drums. Phil Guy: guitar. 
J.W. Williams: bass. I Smell A Rat/Are 
You Losing Your Mind?/You've Been 
Gone Too Long/She's Out There Some¬ 
where/Outskirts of Town/When I Left 

Buddy Guy is crazy, his music is crazy, 
and his drummer is crazy. This was re¬ 
corded live in the studio with no overdubs 
and the music will back you up against the 
wall with intensity. This is a great album. 
Anyone who thinks Led Zeppelin or Van 
Halen play intense blues needs to listen to 

Records MCA-5313. Artimus Pyle: 
drums. Darryl! Otis Smith: vocals. John 
Boerstler: guitars, slide, vocals. Steve Bre- 
wington: bass. Steve Lockhart: guitars, 
keyboards, vocals. Town To Town/Don't 
Know Her Name/It Ain't The Whiskey/ 
She's My Baby/Maybellene/Makes More 
Rock/My Whole World's Upside Down/ 
The Road Never Ends/Take A Look/ 
Rock & Roll Each Other. 

Artimus Pyle was the drumming man 
behind Lynyrd Skynyrd. He has put to¬ 
gether a rocking band that falls somewhere 
between Chuck Berry and heavy metal. 
"Maybellene" was recorded with only two 
mic's and it sounds fantastic. Pick up the 
album and watch for the band in your 

BILL MOLENHOY-Beach Street Years. 
Mark mjs 57596. Bill Molenhof: vibes, 
marimba, piano, vocals. Dewey Dellay: 
bass. Tom Goldbach: drums. Peter Grant: 
drums. Grandfather Time/All I Want To 
Do/Beach Street Years/Soho Saturday 
Night/Giving What You Need/Quiet Cel¬ 
ebration /Asylum. 

Molenhof is equally gifted as a com¬ 
poser and as a musician. He has all of the 
technique one could want, but the empha¬ 
sis here is on music rather than chops. |*j 


cIplko center publication? 

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For complete technical data/component listings etc. Send $1.00 to Milestone 
Percussion, 9771 Pinewell Crescent, Richmond, British Columbia, CANADA 
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By Lloyd Ryan 

Publ: Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd. 

The Old Piano Factory 
43 Gloucester Crescent 
London NW1, England 
Price: £4.95 (about $8.61) 

The Complete Drum Tutor is a clean presentation of technical 
essentials which an articulate teacher could find useful as an accel¬ 
erated course for teenagers and adults. Avoiding repetition, Ryan 
binds in eighty pages the fundamentals of reading, rudiments, 
drumset styles, handwritten charts, percussion ensemble, and odd 
meter. A teacher who relies heavily on his own oral and handwrit¬ 
ten resources might welcome this compendium. The book is too 
superficial, however, to serve as a self-teacher or as a course for 
young beginners. Harold Howland 


by Bill Molenhof 

Publ: Kendor Music, Inc. 

Delevan, NY 14042 
Price: $5.50 

New Works for New Times is a collection of six diverse, jazz- 
oriented compositions for solo vibraphone. The selections, (all for 
four mallets) are of moderate duration and cover a wide variety of 
tempi and technical requirements at an advanced (Grade 6) level of 
difficulty. Several selections, such as "(Almost) The Amazing Spi- 
derman" offer segments for improvisation on an optional basis. 
One of the compositions, "Beach Street Years," is available on a 
recording of the same title on Mark Records by Bill Molenhof—an 
added benefit for the purpose of style comparison, etc. This book 
is a well thought out series of compositions for recital/ 
performance. Donald Knaack 

Book 2 

by Peter Magadini 

Publ: Hal Leonard Publishing Co. 

960 East Mark St. 

Winona, MN 55987 
Price: $4.95 

In the introduction, Peter Magadini states that this book will 
provide maximum facility in the shortest amount of time. I think 
this is true for the student, but a private instructor is mandatory in 
order to accomplish this. 

First of all, the book takes the student through a series of hand 
exercises. Next, the student is shown how to play time on the ride 
cymbal with eighth notes, jazz ride, and variations on the jazz ride. 

The next short section shows the student how to play the jazz 
cymbal ride on the open and closed hi-hat. From here, we go into 
funk drumming, once again with open and closed hi-hat varia¬ 
tions. Magadini then starts explaining improvising around the 
drum set using single and double stroke combinations. 

Bass drum control is up next with patterns played against the 
ride cymbal. There is a brief explanation on fusion playing and 
Latin. In a small section near the end of the book, the student has a 
chance to put all the different feels (mambo, swing jazz, and half¬ 
time rock) into one exercise. 

There are a few examples of fills in the swing feel, rock feel, and 
Latin feel. Towards the back of the book, there is a section on 
flams. Personally, I think this section should have been in the front 
of the book, since this is a basic rudiment. 

The very end of the book deals with auditions, click tracks, 
music terms, equipment selection, basic forms of twelve-bar blues 
and standard tunes, brushes, buzz roll, polyrhythms, and reading 
a drum chart. These explanations are very brief. 

This book is definitely a crash course on how to play the set! 
Although all explanations are good, they are very brief, and the 
student will most assuredly need a private drum instructor. 

Joe Buerger 

by John Xepoleas & Warren Nunes 
Publ: Hansen House 

1860 West Avenue 
Miami Beach, FL 33139 
Price: $7.95 

Even though this is a Warren Nunes method book, the drum 
parts were written and played by John Xepoleas with help from 
Vince Latiano, Bill Nawrocki, and John Rae on the recording. The 
book is divided into three sections. Section one is a study on rock, 
funk, 12/8, shuffle, and Reggae. Section two deals with jazz, 4/4 
swing, and 3/4 swing jazz waltz. The third section is a study of 
Latin rhythms, bossa nova, cha-cha, rhumba, samba, and 

The rock section deals with bass drum, snare drum, and cymbal 
variations. This section also goes into open and closed hi-hat tech¬ 
nique and 16th-note patterns alternating hands. The variations are 
also shown for bass drum, snare drum, and cymbal variations on 
the shuffle beat. 

In the brief Reggae section, there are some fine variations. I 
found the recording very helpful for this section. 

I found the recording to be most beneficial in the jazz section. 
The writing of the cymbal patterns of different tempos and playing 
with a "two" and "four" feel are done well, but hearing the record 
makes them perfectly clear. Trading fours, twos, and eights is also 
explained well, but once again, listening to the record is the key. 

The things I like best about the Latin section are the examples of 
using the bossa nova, samba, and mambo rhythms in the authen¬ 
tic, jazz, and rock context. Showing these rhythms in different 
styles will be a definite advantage to the inexperienced player. Also 
in this section there are examples of how to work with a conga 
player. This is something I haven't seen in other method books. 

There are three things that make this a good book—a suggested 
listening section that shows recordings of each style explained, the 
recording that comes with the book, and a price that is very reason¬ 
able. Joe Buerger 

Volumes 1 & 2 
by Rodman Andrew Sims 
Publ: Centerstream Publications 

Box 5052 

Fullerton, CA 92635 
Price: $5.95 each 

What's in a name? Well, in the case of this two volume set, the 
Fundamentals means a methodical, "easy-does-it" approach to 


coordinated independence, Chapin-style. But don't be misled. 
This is not a rehash or a copy. On the contrary, here are two of the 
most well-written books to come down the pike in a long time. 

Rodman Sims has taken a treacherous subject and meticulously 
stripped it down to the bare elements: left hand quarters, dotted 
eighths, triplets and sixteenths vie against the time beat in Part 1 of 
the first book. Part 2 follows in similar notational order, though 
now, it's the right foot being challenged. Book 2 is remarkably 
consistent, taking the reader to even greater heights by placing him 
knee-deep in some demanding hand and foot combinations. And 
yet, thanks to the maturity and restraint of our author, it all 
remains well within our grasp. 

Instructors who dread teaching this phase, particularly to slower 
students, might find this series a God-send. Sims has devoted over 
120 logically ordered pages to the subject, without ever once side¬ 
tracking us. 

The Fundamentals of Jazz Drumming is basic. It's the meat and 
potatoes of jazz drumming, and though it doesn't necessarily 
trailblaze, it does do an above average job with a subject that's not 
so easy to teach. Even those of us brought up on Chapin may con¬ 
sider it a likely alternative, and a good one at that. 

Mark Hurley 

by Roy Burns & Joey Farris 
Publ: Rhythmic Publications 
P.O. Box 3535 
Fullerton, CA 92634 
Price: $12.95 

One of the most important things about this book is the text, 
which informs the drummer what to expect in the studio. The click 
track is explained, as well as, how to stay with it. The book then 
goes on to explain metronome markings and how to use them for 
practice. The text continues with information on funk snare drum 
technique, accents, importance of the back beat, tuning the set for 
funk, splash accents on the hi-hat and practice tips. 

The notation part of the book starts with basic funk rhythms 
with hi-hat variations, and then with alternate sticking patterns. 
The book then goes into commercial funk and funk samba 

The New Orleans Rhythms section is something I found very 
interesting. Many of the southern funk groups use the traditional 
New Orleans rhythms. These rhythms are explained as "second 
line" rhythms, dating back to the traditional New Orleans funeral 
ceremony. The next section deals with authentic Reggae rhythms, 
followed by funk Reggae. Next is a difficult section on fusion 
funk, and the book concludes with funk rhythms in unusual time 

The most important function of this book is to give drummers a 
working knowledge of funk rhythms. The rhythms in this book are 
all proven. Joe Buerger 

by A1 Humphreys 
Publ: Drum Book Music 
Box 63 

N. White Plains, NY 10603 
Price: $5.95 

This is an independence book divided up for cymbal/snare, 
cymbal/bass drum, and cymbal/snare/bass drum. The cymbal 
pattern used throughout the book is straight eighths, but pages 
throughout the book give many other ideas for cymbal, as well as, 
bass drum and hi-hat patterns. 

The independence patterns used in each section are practically 
identical to each other, but there are some very challenging lines. 
The last four pages of the book deal with what the author calls 
"Para-Rock"—playing paradiddles broken up between the snare 
and bass drum. 

Even though the cover says this book can be used from beginner 
through advanced, it's doubtful that a beginning player could read 








P,0. BOX 372. PLAIN VIEW, NY 11803 

the book unless he has a knowledge of sixteenth notes and dotted 
notes, which this book makes extensive use of. 

Advanced Rock can be a useful study book for hand and foot 
independence, to enable a drummer more freedom on the drum 
set. Bob Saydlowski , Jr. 

by Terry Gibbs 
Publ: Mel Bay Publications 
Pacific, MO 63069 
Price: $15.00 

This is not a "method." This is an encyclopedia of scales and 
chords. On the more positive side, it is a very good collection of 
scales and chords. Specifically, it covers major scales, major 
chords, minor chords, major and minor 6th chords, major and 
minor 7th chords, dominant 7th chords, diminished chords, aug¬ 
mented scales and chords, natural, harmonic and melodic minor 
scales and chords, and the chromatic scale. The exercises consist of 
scales and arpeggios, with only three of the 336 pages being 
devoted to melodic material. 

The material is well explained. Scales are described by showing 
the positions of whole and half steps, and the key signature is 
shown. Chords are explained in relation to their corresponding 
scales. Throughout the book, diagrams of the keyboard are given, 
with the appropriate notes darkened, so that one gets a visual pic¬ 
ture of where these scales and chords fall on the instrument. 

Although the material in the book is useful, I question whether 
there is enough of it to justify the number of pages used and the 
price. More interesting musical examples could certainly have been 
utilized. One final note: Terry Gibbs is pictured on the cover hold¬ 
ing four mallets. There is not one word in this book about four- 
mallet playing. 

Richard Egart 


Getting The "Noise" Out 

by James E. Murphy 

Many recording studios and engineers 
insist that a drummer use the equipment 
that is provided by the studio. While this is 
sometimes not a problem, some drummers 
feel more comfortable behind their own 
set, using their own pedals, stands, and 
cymbals. Though it is often easier to use 
the equipment provided because of time, 
transportation or special requirements, 
this article is geared toward the drummer 
who wants to use his own set in the studio 
more often, as well as, the drummer who 
needs to record or mike his set-up himself. 

First, let's deal with the "why" of this 
subject. After several sessions where I was 
not permitted to use even my own pedals or 
cymbals, I stayed late and talked to the 
engineer and asked him why personal 
equipment was not permitted. He stated 
simply from his experience, most drumsets 
he tried to mike and record were not prop¬ 
erly prepared and cared for, and it showed 
on the recording. This is not to say that the 
drummer alone is at fault, since a lot of 
drumsets and hardware comes from the 
factory with noises and flaws that will be 
picked up by microphones if not corrected. 

The engineer went on to state that 
microphones used to record drums and 
cymbals have a sensitivity range from 45- 
5000 Hertz up to and including 14,000 
Hertz. With such a wide range of sound 
pickup, a buzz, squeak, hum, or rattle is 
sure to be included in this spectrum, and 
will be picked up if a mic' is placed close to 
the offending noise. Remember that engi¬ 
neers may seem especially picky about 

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these noises; they are trained to listen to 
and deal with sounds. 

After some serious thought, I proceeded 
to give my drumset a thorough going over. 
The problems I encountered, as well as my 
solutions, are listed below. While this is 
merely a guideline, it should cover the 
basic problems most drummers will have. 
You may have to experiment and probe to 
find all the noises, and it may take time. 
Have patience and work at your own pace. 


Make sure all stands are rubber tipped. 
If tips are missing—replace them. All 
stand-leg rivets, hardware rivets and fas¬ 
teners should be tight. Loose or worn riv¬ 
ets cause vibration and buzz. Rivets can be 
tightened by placing the flared end of the 
rivet on a hard surface, such as a metal 
work bench or on a bench vise, and lightly 
tapping the head of the rivet with a ham¬ 
mer. Warning: Too tight and the stand 
won't close up freely; too loose and the 
buzz is still there. A little light machine oil 
on the rivet areas will help take the stiff¬ 
ness out after tightening. Also, all wing 
nuts, bolts, clamps etc. should be sturdy 
and stay tight, and the snare stand basket 
area should have rubber sleeves to avoid 
vibration between the snare rim and the 
stand. Rubber hose, such as the kind used 
for automobile heater hose, works fine for 
this and can be purchased at most discount 
and hardware stores. 


After rivets have been checked and 
tightened as mentioned previously, check 
all cymbal stand tilters and mount areas. 
Listen for buzz and rattle while playing 
each cymbal on its stand at various vol¬ 
umes and tempos. Each stand should have 
a leather or thin rubber washer under the 
steel cup washer, and a thick felt under and 
on top of the cymbal. All stands should 

also have thick plastic cymbal sleeves to 
protect the cymbal from the threads of the 
tilter, and avoid metal on metal contact. 

To avoid loose and flying wing nuts on 
the tilter, try the popular T-Tops or Zild- 
jian cymbal snaps and applying them with 
liquid thread lock. Since the cymbal can be 
placed on the tilter without removing the 
T-Top or snaps, the thread lock won't 
harm anything and does not lock the parts 
together permanently. Thread lock can 
also be purchased at hardware and dis¬ 
count stores for approximately $2.00 per 


It seems useless to sweat over a bass 
drum, or a good pair of hi-hat cymbals 
only to hook them up to noisy, squeaky 
pedals. To avoid this problem, start by 
selecting and maintaining a good bass 
drum pedal or hi-hat stand. By this I don't 
necessarily mean a high-priced one. Just a 
strong, sturdy piece of equipment. If your 
pedals are a good quality and still squeak 
and rattle, it could be one or all of the fol¬ 
lowing: Tension springs, heel-plate hinge 
area, swivel points, etc.— solution: lubri¬ 
cate with light oil. Also make sure all 
swivel and hinge points are tight and that 
the action is smooth. Strap contact 
points— solution: grease lightly. Check the 
bass drum beater ball. If it's loose in the 
beater shaft, you'll get a metalic click when 
playing the bass drum— solution: tighten, 
if possible, or replace. 

Hi-hat stands require the same as above 
in the pedal area. You may get a scrape or 
loud click from inside the stand. When this 
occurs, the internal spring is rubbing 
against the upper tube area, and should 

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have a plastic or rubber sleeve placed 
around it and taped into position to avoid 
slipping. The internal tube and spring can 
also be sprayed with teflon coating spray 
(available at discount and paint stores at 
around $3.50 for a large spray can). Ade¬ 
quate felts should also be supplied in the 
cymbal mounting area. 

The hi-hat clutch should be sturdy and 
have rubber or felt washers on each side of 
the top cymbal. The clutch should not be 
so loose that it causes annoying rattles dur¬ 
ing playing. It is also advisable to play with 
soft-sole shoes when playing in the studio, 
since shoes give off noises of their own on a 


Tension lugs with internal springs 
should be removed from the drum shell 
and packed with cotton or foam rubber 
around both sides of the spring. To further 
keep the spring from buzzing, a thick piece 
of felt should be placed under the end of 
each spring where it touches the back of 
the lug. Compacted, worn-out cymbal 
felts, cut to proper size, are excellent for 
this and cost nothing. 

While the shell is striped of its lugs, it is a 
good time to clean and polish the shells, as 
well as the hardware. Clean the rims, 
drum-head hoops, and the head surface 
too. Stick chips, grit, splinters, dust and 
the like can become lodged in these areas 
and cause unwanted noise and head dam¬ 

Replace the rims and heads, using bee's 
wax or sealing wax to lubricate the bearing 
edge where it comes in contact with the 
head. Replace all lugs and hardware to the 
shell, and tighten it. Care must be taken 
when you remove and replace tension lugs, 
and other shell-mount hardware, since 
they are easily stripped or broken. 

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Though some are sturdy and can be kept 
relatively noise free by tightening and 
lubricating, my feelings are that most 
internal mufflers will always create a cer¬ 
tain amount of unwanted noise when the 
drum is played. To me, the best solution to 
a noisy muffler is to remove it altogether. 
After removal, an external muffler can be 
purchased and mounted on the rim. These 
units tend to be less noisy and can be 
removed when not in use. 





Thrones should be checked like all the 
other stands and hardware listed, and 
should also be checked at the pivot point. 
When you pivot, the throne should not 
squeak or groan. Nothing could be more 
embarassing than getting a perfect take on 
a quiet tune, all except the last bar where 
the drummer pivoted on his throne to close 
the song with a cymbal crash, and instead, 
a horrible squeaking groan is commited to 
tape. A light coat of heavy grease where 
the seat connects to the stand should take 
care of this problem. 

This then, is a general run down of rela¬ 
tively inexpensive things you can do to pre¬ 
pare your drums for recording and miking. 
This is not by any means all that can be 
done, but these are the main offenders and 
will give you a place to start in correcting 
them. Every set will have special problems 
that will need correcting. Common sense, 
logic, and patience, all play important 
parts in dealing with annoying noises, and 
the same characteristics apply in dealing 
with an engineer or sound man. Good 

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Dix continued from page 29 

come off good. But, if you play great then 
they're going to be more aware of that. If 
you play bad—they're going to assume 
that's the norm and that it's really good. If 
you play great you jump to another level. 

A lot of people subscribe to the theory 
that it doesn't matter what you do or how 
well you do it, because your audience 
doesn't know the difference anyway. I 
can't buy that. Most musicians want to be 
respected by their peers. If a famous drum¬ 
mer came to hear me—even if he wasn't 
particularly fond of rock and roll—I'd still 
like him to walk away thinking he heard 
someone who was proficient; that he heard 
a good player doing the best he could 
within the framework he had to work with, 
rather than being just another hacker. I 
want to be a respected musician. 

Confidence is half of it, too. It took me a 
while to develop that. I went straight out of 
playing clubs to playing this. When I met 
the band we set up the drums, ran over a 
few tunes, and went out to do the show 
that night. I faked the rest of it. There was 
no really intense concentrated rehearsal. 

A lot of the live album is real disappoint¬ 
ing. I can't stand to listen to it now because 
it's so loose. 

SF: How long had you been with The Out¬ 
laws when that album was recorded? 

DD: About four months. There's a couple 
of things on that album that I'm real 
pleased with, but for the most part it's so 
sloppy that I listen to it now and think, 
"Damn!" It just takes a while. We were all 
green then. 

SF: What do you feel is the band's respon¬ 
sibility to its audience? 

DD: With any kind of a rock crowd, if you 
just go out there and play your tunes and 
expect them to sit down and listen to you— 
that ain't going to happen. What you play 
has to be presented. Instead of just tune 
after tune there's got to be some interesting 
segues. Otherwise, it's like you're back to 
playing in a bar again. You're up there say¬ 
ing, "Oh, here's one that our bass player 
wrote. Oh, here's one that our guitar 
player wrote." It really needs to be pre¬ 
sented in a show fashion. 

SF: Do you plan the concert sets? 

DD: Generally we've got a set and we don't 
deviate from it too much except to shorten 
it. Our show is usually an hour and a half. 
There are certain songs that are always 
going to be in the set that we group 
together, back to back, to go with the flow. 
SF: I have a quote from The Rolling Stone 
Illustrated History of Rock And Roll. It's 
written that the plane crash of the Lynyrd 

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Skynyrd band "marked the virtual end of 
Southern rock as a vital source of new 
music, even though many of its early expo¬ 
nents continue performing." Do you con¬ 
sider The Outlaws a Southern rock group, 
and how do you feel about that statement? 
DD: We do consider ourselves Southern 
rock, but a more apt description would be 
"rock and roll from the South." A lot of 
the material we do has a very Southern 
tone to it, but at the same time, there's 
material that we do, particularly on Los 
Homhres Malo, that's in a much harder 
rock and roll vein. The phrase "Southern 
rock" has been overused and abused. If 
you're a band from Los Angeles they don't 
call you "Western rock." Or, if you're 
from New York they don't call you 
"Northeastern rock." You're a rock and 
roll band! But, if you come from the 
South, all of a sudden you're a "Southern 
rock and roll band." That's not to say 
there's anything wrong with that. The Out¬ 
laws are not trying to disassociate themsel¬ 
ves from that, but at the same time, we 
don't want to be known for that alone. We 
feel we've got a lot more going for us. 

SF: Did you have friends in high school 
who were musicians? 

DD: Yes and no. In high school we were 
always working weekends. It was great but 
it was a little strange because you didn't go 
to football games and all that crap. So, you 
were sort of an outsider. If you had long 
hair in those days it was all you could do to 
keep from getting kicked out of school. 
Growing up a musician was definitely dif¬ 
ferent than being just a regular kid. 

SF: Were there drummers in your peer 
group who played better than you that 
have since quit playing music? 

DD: There were a couple of guys like that. 
SF: Why do you think you went on to 
become a successful player and they 

DD: Probably it was just timing. I proba¬ 
bly had a better opportunity than they did. 
There was a guy that used to play drums 
with Blues Image named Manuel Berti- 
matti, from Tampa, Florida who was just 
a monster! Now he's in L.A. or something 
working for one of the movie studios. He 
gave up playing completely. I used to sit 
and watch him and think, "Man! That's 
how good I want to be." All of a sudden, a 
few years go by and you find yourself play¬ 
ing with a well-known band, touring, and 
then you hear about this guy who's given it 
all up. You wonder about it and think, 
"Damn. As good as he was, he gave it up. 
Where does that leave me?" It must be a 
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SF: Why did you hang in there? Was there 
ever a time when you felt like throwing in 
the towel? 

DD: Yeah, there's been a couple of times. 
Particularly before I was with The Out¬ 
laws. I was practicing a lot because I 
always had in the back of my head, "If you 
practice and realize that what you're doing 
is to make a living, and that you're trying 
to step up, and if you keep that in perspec¬ 
tive, then you'll do okay." But, there's 
times when you become so depressed 
about what you're doing because all you're 
doing is making a living. There was a lot of 
times when I thought, "Maybe I ought to 
just go sell shoes or something." 

SF: What kept you going? 

DD: Ultimately what kept me going was 
that I got with The Outlaws. I was twenty- 
five at the time and that's really when you 
start to grow up. Had I had my choice 
about what I wanted to play, I'd be out 
playing with a funk band in the vein of 
Tower of Power, Stuff, or Spyro Gyra. 
But, none of that ever came my way. This 
is what came my way so I'm going to do 
this. Even if you're at least a part of some¬ 
thing that's successful—even if it's not 
exactly what you hoped for—at least 
you're not playing in a copy band some¬ 
place in a bar playing five sets a night. I can 
pretty much do my own thing with The 

SF: How important to your career is it to 
have a supportive family? 

DD: It makes me take everything a little bit 
more seriously. If you want to achieve any 
lasting success, then you've got to take it 
seriously, whatever you're doing. Having 
a family makes me think less about having 
a good time and more about accomplish¬ 
ing something. 

SF: There's a myth that you can't have a 
successful career and a successful mar¬ 

DD: Well, it's hard. I used to wonder 
about that myself. Then I found myself in 
that position and I just had to learn to deal 
with it on a daily basis. It comes with the 
job. What's the alternative? The alterna¬ 
tive is to stay home and work locally. In the 
end that's going to grow old. Doing some¬ 
thing like this you are away a lot and it puts 
a stress and strain on your home life, but at 
least there's a chance of a payoff for you. 
SF: What can you tell me about your cur¬ 
rent drumset? 

DD: I've been using Yamaha drums for 
close to three years. I don't have an 
endorsement with them. I'm not really 
interested in having an endorsement. I 
want to play a good set of drums. I figure 
they'll come to me one of these days. 
Before that I was using a combination of 
Rogers and Pearl. A Rogers bass drum, 
rack toms, and floor tom, some Pearl con¬ 
cert toms, and a Pearl snare drum. I finally 
stopped using the concert toms because I 
wanted to go for a more rock power type 
setup. I went to bigger drums. I'm using 
two 24" bass drums, 9X13 and 10 X 14 


rack toms, and an 18" floor tom. I'm using 
a Tama snare drum that's 6 1/2", I think, 
standard wood. I do have an endorsement 
with Zildjian. When I got that it really 
meant something to me. I'm using a 22" 
Deep Ride and four crash cymbals. One is 
a 16" and the rest are 18". The hi-hats are 
Quick-Beat 14". And I've got an Earth 
Ride and a Swish. At one time I was using 
two ride cymbals and the Swish with the 
crashes, but I've just modified it. 

I've been using muffling inside the bass 
drums. When I was playing clubs I 
wouldn't put anything in them at all. I'd 
just muffle the head itself with felt strips, 
tape, or both. If you get the head muffled 
down enough with that you don't have to 
put anything inside the drum and it really 
kicks! When you take a 24" bass drum and 
put something inside—you don't have a 
24" drum anymore. The main reason I'm 
still using stuff inside my bass drums is 
because of the soundmen. It's easier for 
them to get a sound with a heavily muffled 
drum. That's the same set-up I use in the 
studio, too. 

SF: Is it helpful to be in a band with people 
you can communicate with? 

DD: It helps a lot. For instance, the band 
was passing demo tapes around amongst 
themselves, stuff they'd done on vacation 
that they were submitting for Los Hom- 
hres Malo. I'd get a tape and listen and 
maybe get an idea for one of the tunes. I 
could call them up and say, "You know 
that tape you gave me? Well, you ought to 
try this, maybe." When you've got that 
kind of a relationship, that's much nicer 
than when you're just a member of a band 
and you don't really give a shit. It's a much 
better feeling, and it's a lot more fun to be 
a part of a team than just a member. 

The drummer is basically the quarter¬ 
back. You control the intensity a lot of 
times. It's really the most unique instru¬ 
ment in the band. A drummer who can do 
more than just play time—a guy who can 
play at different levels of intensity and 
with a real good sense of dynamics—can 
make all the difference in the world to a 

band. There are subtleties that come out 
while you're playing, and you really don't 
discuss things like that—at least with this 
band. There's a lot of spontaneity. You're 
playing, and when you're excited about 
something and say, "Okay, I'll take it 
here" . . . when you've got guys that can 
respond to that—that's my ideal situation. 
SF: Do you ever think about what you're 
going to do when you're sixty years old? 
DD: Yeah. I'd like to be playing drums 
when I'm sixty. That's probably the true 
mark of any musician—his longevity. 

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Have a problem? A question? Ask MD. Address all 
questions to: Modern Drummer, c/o It's Question¬ 
able, 1000 Clifton Ave., Clifton, NJ 07013. Ques¬ 
tions cannot be answered personally. 

Q. I need advice on tuning a 12" x 15" 1958 WFL parade snare 
drum for funk/rock. I want a crisp, sensitive sound. I've been 
using a medium Canasonic weave-type batter head, and an Am¬ 
bassador snare head. Regular white coated Ambassadors sound 
beautiful on top but I break them in one night. 


Q. What drummer played Animal on the Muppet Show during the 
drum battle with Buddy Rich? Does the same drummer play all of 
the drum tracks on the Muppet Show! 


Chattanooga, Tn 

Ann Arbor, Mi 

A. Your challenge seems to be twofold. First, it's going to be hard 
to obtain a "sensitive'' sound out of a drum if you're playing it so 
hard that you break a head a night! Secondly, if someone asked for 
a drum that wouldproduce a "crisp "sound—probably one of the 
last suggestions would be a 12" x 15" parade snare. We ready our 
letter to David Garibaldi, one of the best funk/rock drummers. He 
said, "I don't know if this'll help, but I've been using recently a 
6 1/2 x 14 Rogers metal snare drum. I've been using a Duraline 
concert head on top, and a Duraline snare head on the bottom. The 
sound is incredible. It has that higher quality that the reader is 
asking about and it still retains a low sound. You don't have to use 
a lot of external muffling. It's going to be impossible to get the 
sound out of that (parade drum) that you can get out of a regular 
5" metal drum." 

A. Animal is actually Ronnie Verell. According to Zildjian's 
Cymbal Set-Ups of Famous Drummers, "Ronnie spent about fif¬ 
teen years with the Ted Heath Orchestra, and appears frequently 
with the Jack Parnell Orchestra at the London Palladium backing 
up top performers. " To our knowledge, Ronnie played the drum 
battle with Buddy Rich. 

Q. I keep reading articles about great unique drummers like Steve 
Gadd and Tony Williams, who talk about doing nothing all day 
long except playing and practicing since they were kids. As I grew 
up I've had to work day gigs, go to school, or gig at night in limit¬ 
ing commercial bands to pay rent. I feel that I'm developing a style 
and sound, but having to put so much emphasis on making money 
is stifling my creativity and inhibiting my practice. Any suggestions 
on what to do or where to go? 


Miami, FI 


ro lywoode pongo _ 

The look ond Of wood 
wllh Digger ioun<J ond 
ftror*g*i ihelli 

COft&A - 5 h* 1 H orm 

rtronger bvv Sound « 
betl com bln oil on of volume 
□nd wgrmfri 

Trust the leader " 1 





A. Drummers who have nothing to do all day except play and 
practice are few and far between. We're sure if you asked Tony or 
Steve, they've had some pretty dismal work experiences along the 
way. We think what they're saying is that they spent all their free 
time practicing andplaying. Drumming was the number-one prior¬ 
ity in their lives. Your having to work may be taking some time 
from "woodshedding, " but it sounds like you have an excellent 
opportunity to learn to communicate with all different types of 
people. Learning to deal with people is crucial to a successful ca¬ 
reer, and many times the drummers who spend all of their time 
isolating themselves in practice are hampered in the real world by 
an inability to deal with people. Take advantage of your situation, 
keep your eyes and ears alert for opportunity, and one day you'll 
findyourself with more time to play and practice. 

Q. I am interested in the use of brushes at the basic level. Any 
advice on records or books to learn from would be appreciated. 


Ontario, Canada 

A. A few classic brush players on records are: Papa Jo Jones with 
Basie, Joe Morello with The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Vernell Four¬ 
nier with Ahmad Jamal, Ed Thigpen with The Oscar Peterson 
Trio, Paul Motion and Marty Morrell with The Bill Evans Trio, 
Max Roach, and Philly Joe Jones with Miles Davis. Elvin Jones 
plays some excellent brushwork on his trio albums with Joe Farrell 
and Jimmy Garrison, and also with the John Coltrane Quartet. 

Philly Joe has an excellent book on brushes published by The 
Premier Drum Company; Ed Thigpen has a book/cassette pack¬ 
age calledThe Sound of Brushes; and Willis Kirk has a good brush 
book called Brushfire. 

Q. I've recently decided to further my studies. I play a left-handed 
kit. Would it be worth my while to learn to play both left and right 
handed kits? 

Hatfore, Pa 

A. You don't say how longyou've been playing, but it sounds as if 
you've only been playing a short while. First, there is nothing 
wrong with playing a left-handed kit. We'd suggest working on 
becoming proficient on the left-handed kit (assuming that's most 
comfortable for you); once you've accomplished that, then you 
can begin working on ambidexterity andfour-way independence. 
Too much too soon could really kill your enthusiasm. 

Q. I own a set of Leedy drums. It has Shelly Manne's name on the 
hi-hat stand and bass drum pedal. The sizes are a 14" snare, 13" 
small tom, 17" floor tom, and a 21" bass. They were made in No¬ 
vember '65 and are in excellent shape. I bought them for $150. 
How much are they worth? 


Tyler, Tx 

A. According to Charlie Donnelly, the drumset was madejust be¬ 
fore Leedy sold out to Slingerland. The set is worth between $450 
and $500. 

Q. Could you tell me if a 26" bass drum is a waste of inches in 
comparison to the 24"? I'm purchasing another bass drum. I own a 
20" bass drum and I can just about hear it. I put a pillow in it 
because I like the "thud" sound of Phil Rudd in AC/DC. 

East Haven, Ct 

A. Obviously there will be a difference in sound between a 24" bass 
drum and a 26"—how much difference is hard to say. If you're 
looking for volume plus a good sound—get rid of the pillow. When 
you hear Phil Rudd on records or in concert, it's important to 
realize that he has mic's on his bass drums which can compensate 
for a heavily padded drum. The kind of drum heads you use and 
learning how to tune a bass drum properly will give you the sound 
you want and the volume. You can have the biggest bass drum in 
the world, but if it's stuffed full of pillows, it's going to sound like a 
box. Find a teacher or a drummer in your area who can show you 
how to tune your bass drum. 

Regal Tip, 
(j chops. 


take his 
and moke 







cusiom s*cj. 






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Study polyrhythm, super imposition, 
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Now i it its second printing, it's truly an un¬ 
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To a!d the stud net and leechar, these nec¬ 
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WELCOME TO ODD TIMES " * * Acompra- 
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NOTES Send check or M.O. For 16.00 (Out¬ 
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Gel the drum sound of your choice with 
plete book on drum tuning, Send §7.95 10 : 
STEVEN WALKER, Box 26051 r Indianapo¬ 
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You can learn to read and play Rock's 
most frequently used drum rhythms using 
sette and Book. Spools! Featura-Tha Cas¬ 
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a«ong tracks, minus drummer, designed 
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Funk out w,m Irinas and r.dnpepts of to¬ 
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"Ouadragnp fnr DrumseE" 
Revolutionary d'umsel technique oE the 
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Ouadragrip gnmes w 1h cassette inSlruC' 
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p-nslagp paid, Michaet Wetch Publication. 
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SATIN PANTS, etc for enlerlalners. etc. 
Wrile/call for catalog; enclose SLOG re¬ 
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22, ? South 5th Streei. Minneapolis. MN 
5S4Q2 (61SH 333-SCK5 


LUDWIG DRUMS - 7 piece Blue Vistalife. 
Can between 4:30 - 9:00 p.m. < 212 ) 671- 

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one of the mosl inexpensive ways tg pro- 
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of the most durable stand cases on to¬ 
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Dealers welcome. M HARDOASE PROD¬ 
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FPn TWIRL A ST1K, P.O Sox 5126. PO¬ 
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■SHELL—a 15 ply hand-ciafted instrument 
const meted for the maximum projection 
and! durability In a Wood Snare Shell, Afl 
She I la are ave 11 ab I e un li rush ad, or I n N atu¬ 
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Co.. 229 Hamilton St.. Saugus., Maas. 
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Johnette. H&ynes. Gadd.many others, so- 
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Goidor Drum Co. has bought out the Fiibes 
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covered. 6and 8 ply* maple shells ter dqrt t- 
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marching corps drums, New patented CD- 
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334-0406. See our ad in this issue about 

Rock Drum Charts! Over 503 song selec¬ 
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Friendly Rd-. Hlckwill*. NY n«H 

Si26, POLAND, OHIO 44514 

All REMC, LUDWIG. & EVANS Drumheads 
at a huge savings! M All ZILDJIAN -Si 
PAESTE Cymbals at lowest prices! Huge 
Drumstick Savings on the teliowlng: ALL 
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prices on all drums & accessories. Bizarre 
Guitar, 2077 Qddie Blvdr, Hen*. Nevada 
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on out of Stale Sales! 

Drummers? The South's most complete 
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fantastic Specials on set purchases. 
Palate Sound Center. All other cymbals. 
Hardware - parss a problem? NO! tor us! 
TOLL FREE 1-800-241-6889, Music Mart - 

RECOVER YOUR DRUM8 In classic black 
or white- A five-piece sat coats loos than 
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2487 Ferguson Road, Cincinnati, Chid 

At You Sell P3en! 12* records Rom your 
Tapes, album covers of your OWN DE¬ 
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T-SHtttTS Ludwig, Tama, ZNdjtan, Remo, 
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PARTS thousands In slock. Recovaring, 
black, while, iwaods, more. Shells, rims, 
lugs Etc. LUDWIG 6 TAMA parts cata¬ 
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SB.50 (includes postage^. DRUM HEAD- 
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Louis. MO 63117.___ 

LUDWIG TOUR JACKET, Blue satin, lined, 
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Merrick. N.Y. 1156$. 

TON, NJ 07013 


VIDEO CASSETTES—Drummers Cal tec- 
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renowned Brush technique as well a& an 
upclosa took al his playing. Tapes are 
$69.95. Specify Be|a m VMS. Drummers 
Collective, 130 W. 42nd St., Suite 943, NYC 


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songwrlting Jazz ar-d Rock Ensemble 
Workshops.—Rehearsal Space Avail¬ 
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□ RUMMERS: Learn ALL styles of drum¬ 

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Including mallets- Can for appointment. 

VIDEO. All slyleS of drumming. Beginning 
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In lhaS-F. Say Area JOHN XEPOLEASau- 
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MING In S'. Louis. A Comprehensive 
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SION Fail Semester R eg i si rat I on now 
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Ave H Wesl Orange, NJ 07062 (201) 736- 

BOSTON AREA including Quincy, 
Marshfield, Waltfiam—John Hcrrtgan 
School of Drumming—Beginners 10 Pro^ 
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TH E MUSIC A L GEN I US IN YOU. Lea r n th e 
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Drum Co proudly presents the 2nd annual 
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registration - contact Eames Drum Co,, 
229 Hamilton S(., Saugus. Mass, 01906 
(617} 233-1404. _ 

studies on Prooressive Fusion and Rock 
DTjmmin^. Covering complete methods 
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White, Williams, Palfner, Bruford, Peart, 
Bozzlo, Ph blips. Rich, Hon ham, . Studies 
covering: Devatopin-g ideas creatively: un¬ 
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odd time; polyfhytftms; Mnge-r technique, 
Gladstone technique: record t ran scrip- 
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technique and give you many Ideas, Jefl 
5T6^fl1-9556._ _ 

Drummlng Instructor: Andy SleH. Former 
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College, Jazz Studies. St. Louie r MO 

{VfllinMfft pa$e /0Q 





Q. What cymbal set-up did you use 
when Cornerstone was recorded? 

Steven Ferraro 
Bricktown, NJ 

A. I used different set-ups for differ¬ 
ent songs, although I did use the 
same ride cymbal for the whole al¬ 
bum. Ride cymbals can be somewhat 
of a problem because of their size; 
sometimes they have a tendency to 
build a lot of overtones. But I finally 
found one that I'm real happy with: a 
Zildjian Rock 21 . I can get a good ping 
and minimize the overtones without 
putting a lot of tape on it. So I used 
that ride cymbal on all of the tunes, 

and for hi-hats, I alternated between 
14" and 15" Quick- Beats. 

I use different crash cymbals be¬ 
cause we have a lot of different styles 
of music. Basically it's the decay time 
I'm concerned wtih because I don't 
want to step on the vocals. On some 
of our lighter fare, I like to use a thin 
crash with sort of a quick decay. If I 
need to be real bombastic, I'll use 
something like an 18" medium. On 
"Borrowed Time," I used some 
heavier cymbals: an 18" Rock crash, 
a 20" medium crash, and a 16" thin 
crash. On "Lights," "Why Me," 
"Babe" and "Never Say Never" I used 
a 16" thin crash, an 18" crash, which 
was sort of heavy, and a 17" thin. On 
"Eddie" I had 16" thin and an 18" me¬ 
dium. For "Love In The Midnight" I 
used an 18" thin, a 17" medium, and 
an 18" Rock crash. 


When a powerful 
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you have met 
KRUT, one of the 
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Knit Cymbals are hand 
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silver, the product of 
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You couldn't have a better 
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Ask your dealer for a KRUT 
demonstration or write to: 
exclusive importer 
POB 168/Monsey, NY 10952 
Tel: 914/356-2098 

/Idbise fifeoler's rujtne and address, 

JOPA Is Taking 
The Gloves Offl 

Because your 
have to play 

made by 

After you've tried all the rest, you’re ready lor 
fopa. Try one of these fine hand-crafted 
instruments and you’ll hear the difference. 
Each and every Jopa instrument is designed 
and meticulously hand-tooled by foe "Papo" 
Daddiego. Says Papo: "There’s a very special 
sound that you gel from a handmade instrument 
that you just can’t get from Dne that’s 
mass-produced by machine. Sure, il lakes a little 
longer to make them, but it's worth il. Being a 
musician first and then a craftsman, I have 
dedicated ]opa to giving other musicians an 
instrument that delivers the best sound 

)opa instruments are made today the way they 
are still made in primitive areas of Brazil, Cuba 
and Angola. They are made from the finest 
natural materials of the Earth. Rare woods, brass, 
steel and the finest iron ore. Still made today the 
way native craftsmen have made them since the 
beginning of time. 

Among Jopa instruments you'll find the finest in: Berim- 
bau, Tamborim, Cuica, Cowbells (B models to choose 
from), Ganza, Caxixi, Reco Reco, Guiro, Afuche, Surdo, 
Chocalhos, Shekere, Agogo Z-3-4-7, and many others made 
to order. 

Pick up a jopa. You’ll be playing the finest. 


Made by hand 
For your hands 

P.O. Box 372 Plainview. NY 11803 





Q. Do you have any advice for an ama¬ 
teur drummer who wants to become a 

Gina Frazier 
Saginaw, Mi. 

A. The best advice I can give you is to 
practice; all the time, as much as you 
can. It's really true: practice makes 
perfect. If you're not in a band right 
now, play along with records. Playing 
with records is a lot of fun, you don't 
get bored quickly, and it's good for 
your timing. 

Also, don't worry about playing dif¬ 
ficult drum beats. Most of the time, 
the simplest beats are the best. It re¬ 
ally boils down to team work. True pro¬ 
fessionals play what is required to 
make the song great—not necessarily 
the fanciest beats they know. 

Above all, keep believing in yourself 
and work hard. If you believe you can 
do it—you will! 


Drum Market continued from page 107 



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Q. What would maKe you intention¬ 
ally play on top of the beat? 

Randy Stiles 
Bethany, CT 

A. There are a few reasons. Two of 
them would be; first, if I was playing 
with a bass player who seemed to lag. 
Second would be to lend excitement 
to the music at a particular time. 



Q. How did your group get to tour 
with Rush? 

Donald Zilnack 
Red Bank, NJ 

A. That was done through our book¬ 
ing agent. We found out that Rush had 
heard our album and liked it, and they 
heard we were good live. So it was like 
a request. They felt we would round 
out the bill. m 

Does anybody remember WwKie Usher? 

“Woozie Fisher? Yeah, 1 remember Woozie Fisher. Played the 
big bands behind Fats Walrus. 1 ' 

“Naw, he was with that other fella, what’s his name?” 

“Duke Wellington." 

“Yep, sure played a mean saxophone, ole Woozie!” 

“You’re nutty as a fruitcake! Woozie was a drummer if there 
ever was one!” 

“Oh yeah! Played hard and sweated a lot, 1 remember the 
night his sticks slipped out of his sweaty hands and cleared the 
dance floor!” 

“Yeah! And after that he swore he’d figger a way to hang on 
to his sticks.” 

“Ain’t he still at it, sandin' the shafts of red hickory drumsticks 
so other drummers can hold on to 'em?” 

“Can't say as I remember,” 



The hand-sanded drumsticks you’ll hang onto. 

Distributed by Coast Wholesale Music Co. of San Francisco. 

P.O. Box 1168, San Carlos. CA 94070 



The xt ODenn 

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>n the other side of this sturdy plastic tag. Can 
dso he used us an attractive kevchain. 




■Sold in sets of 5. Order Your Set 










MD T-SHIRTS check size 
















Clifton, Ml mmk J 









3? R A ZI l .1A N D RUIV1 ft 11N G 

A ND ft 1UCH. M UCl I MORE! J 

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gRiinm eyrii 


We’ve selected more than 75 of the most 
informative and helpful articles from our 
ten most popular columns, written by 
some of our most popular authors! 

Here's the very best of MD in a jam-packed, 124 
page volume that's overflowing with invaluable 
drumming information. Information you'll want 
to refer to again and again. Information you 
won’t find anywhere else. 

This book represents the must reading segment of 
MD’s six years, it's one hook that should be in 
every serious drummer’s library* 


1 S„ pIl ^ 

Ma a4dfioi 

fi* Bailey 
h Van Horn 



















by Robyn Flans 

Jeff Porcaro, whose first priority has al¬ 
ways been his own band, Toto, is pleased 
that he is immersed in that these days. 
With Toto IV doing well, Toto plans to be 
on the road throughout the summer, off 
and on. How does the band affect his stu¬ 
dio commitments? 

"I remember when Toto first started, 
which was kind of when I first started do¬ 
ing sessions. If you left town, there was al¬ 
ways a guy behind you. If the contractor 
and the artist call you a few times and 
you're not there, they have to go to the 
next guy. If you're gone for a while, they 
might even decide they like him better than 
you. So you're always risking the chance 
that, when you come home, your accounts 
don't call you anymore. In some instances, 
I've found that has happened and I find it 
to be more true when there are contractors 
involved as opposed to the artist just call¬ 
ing. But Toto never stays out on the road 
more than a few weeks at a time." 

When Toto is recording in L.A., how¬ 
ever, Jeff continues to do sessions. "We 
did this album over a period of six months. 
When we're working on a Toto album, we 
maybe work five days a week, usually in 
the nights from 7:00 on. So as long as I 
don't stay up too late, I can usually work 
during the days." But Toto has been the 
dream Jeff has been working towards, so 
he manages to juggle his responsibilities. 
"There was a point where, for two years, I 
actually did everything I could, even if I 
didn't feel like playing, just to save up 
money so I could take two years off and 
give the group a try. I think anybody 
would be happy if he were given the privi¬ 
lege to have a group that's his. You get to 
go into the studio and money is given to 
you to make the kind of music you want to 
make. You're the boss and it's your baby. 
That's incredible! I think that's anybody's 
ultimate goal if they're into doing their 
own thing themselves, or with five other 
comrades. With Toto, it's a little more 
free. The way we work in the studio—the 
way we record our instruments and the 
way we arrange our tunes and produce 
ourselves—it's for ourselves instead of as 
sidemen who are there to satisfy the needs 
of the producer and artist you're working 
for. That's fun too, and sometimes that's 
even a relief from being in a group, but it's 
nice to be involved with all aspects of the 

He has even become more involved with 
writing these days, having had a sprinkling 
of co-written tunes on previous albums. 
Jeff co-wrote three tunes on the current al¬ 
bum and plans to become more and more 
involved in that area. 

Recently, Jeffs brother Mike joined the 
line-up on bass, after David Hungate ex¬ 
ited to spend more time in Nashville. This 
brings a total of three Porcaros in the 
band, which already included Steve on 

"It's great playing with Mike again. It's 
like the old days when Mike was in the 
original high school band with Paich, Lu- 
kather, Steve and myself. Mike also played 
live with us with Boz Scaggs." 

On the studio front, Porcaro has added 
a couple of exciting firsts to his list, having 
recently worked with Paul McCartney for 
the first time on the McCartney/Michael 
Jackson collaboration. "I also recently 
worked with Bruce Springsteen for Donna 
Summer's album. He sang and also played 
on the tracks. That was great." 

There have also been lots of new exciting 
and inspirational experiences for Danny 
Gottlieb these days. Due for a September 
release is an album he collaborated on with 
bassist Mark Egan. 

"It's something I've really been working 
towards," Gottlieb said. "I'm looking 
forward to the day when I can do an album 
as leader, but this is definitely the first step 
towards that since this is a co-leadership 
between me and Mark. This is the first time 
I was able to go into the studio with a cer¬ 
tain amount of control over my sound and 
the material we chose and what we played. 
We had talked about doing a project to¬ 
gether for a long time. When I finished an 
extensive tour with Metheny last Decem¬ 
ber, and he was taking a break until June, 
Mark and I got together and decided to go 
into the studio and see what we could come 
up with. Originally we were just going to 
make it a duo project with bass and drums. 
I overdubbed three different tracks of cym¬ 
bals, three different tracks of drums and 
Mark put three or four different bass 
tracks. Towards the end, though, we de¬ 
cided it would be nice to add some different 
instruments. So we asked our friend Clif¬ 
ford Carter, a keyboard player who is a 
well-known studio musician in New York, 
and Bill Evans, a saxophone player who 
plays with Miles Davis currently. Before 
we knew it, we came up with a finished 
product. The record is called Elements, 
which is the name of the band, because we 
combine man-made instruments with nat¬ 
ural ocean sounds, wind sounds and rain 
sounds. We've decided to go with a small 
company in Vermont called Philo Re¬ 
cords. They really flipped out over the re¬ 
cord, and if you look at the back of every 
Philo record, there is a message that says, 
'Philo artists have complete artistic con¬ 

trol of their own project.' That's a really 
noble thing to say on the back of a record 
and we liked the feeling there, so we de¬ 
cided to go with them." 

Also, because of the long breaks 
Metheny takes, Danny was able to play 
with Airto last March on a short tour with 
Airto and his wife, Flora Purim. "Airto 
and I hit it off immediately. I realized that 
he was a much greater influence on my mu¬ 
sical career and my playing in general than 
I had ever realized. When Chick Corea's 
Light as a Feather came out, Airto was the 
drummer, even though he's not listed in 
the credits, and I remember listening to 
that record almost constantly. If I had to 
pick a drummer whose style or sound I 
come close to, he's really the only one I can 
think of. People know Airto as a percus¬ 
sionist, but he's an incredible drummer as 
well. So I took it as a challenge to learn as 
many of the tunes they performed, authen¬ 
tically, so it would give Airto the opportu¬ 
nity to switch back and forth between the 
drums and percussion. It also gave me the 
opportunity to study percussion with him 
so I could play percussion while he was on 

When the first leg of Metheny's current 
tour concludes, Danny will reunite with 
Airto and his group in August for gigs in 
Seattle and Portland as well as the Tellu- 
ride Jazz Festival. He then resumes with 
Metheny towards the end of September on 
a college tour across the U.S., supporting 
the latest ECM Metheny release, Offramp. 

Studio drummer Michael Botts recently 
in the studio with new Capitol group, Ava¬ 
lon, as well as with Glenn Shorrock and 
Warren Zevon. Vinnie Colaiuta also 
played tracks for Avalon, and Zevon's al¬ 
bum will also feature Jeff Pocaro, Rick 
Marotta and Russ Kunkel. Linda Ronstadt 
is also using Kunkel on her upcoming re¬ 
lease, as well as Rick Shlosser. Jeff Porcaro 
is also featured on America's new album. 
Gary Mallaber working with Steve Miller. 
Ian Wallace working with David Lindley. 
Craig Kramps featured on Kim Carne's 
current project. 

Michael Derosier is no longer with 
Heart, and sitting at Heart's drums now is 
Denny Carmassi, formerly with the L.A. 
based Gamma. 

Aynsley Dunbar has been keeping busy 
recording the Starship album due out this 
month as well as Paul Kantner's solo al¬ 
bum which will not be released until '83 
since he has been recording around Star- 
ship activities. Starship is on the road pres¬ 
ently. (*■, 



Slingerland introduces the revolutionary 

Slingerland has virtually re-invented the snare drum with 
the creation of the Slapshot strainer. Now you can tune 
your snare drum precisely—and have it stay precisely 
tuned* no matter how many times you throw the strainer 
off and on. 

No sympathetic vibrations or sound distortions* Slap¬ 
shot's expertly engineered throw-off mechanism keeps 
the snares perfectly taut, even when they're not lying 
against the drum head. So there's 
niij i nmf m ft no sympathetic vibration. And the 
^ . IIHUMJIU simplified design is free of any 

f r \ "I internal mechanisms that can 

V \\V p) [ hamper or distort your sound. 

Precision tuning. Slapshot pro- 

.| vides both horizontal and vertical 

■ \ snare adjustment. You can find the 

\ K ^y \ n* exact sound you want, then lock 
onto it, 

Smooth operation. Slapshot's throw-ofT handle works 
smoothly* fluidly . *. more easily than any other strainer 

Greater versatility For the professional musician, Slap¬ 
shot means that the precision of your performance will 
always be matched by the precision of your snare drum 
*, * through the ups and downs of a live concert, through 
the stops and starts of a recording session* 

Slingerland has it. Nobody else. We've sent the compe¬ 
tition to the drawing boards with our new Slapshot 
strainer. Meanwhile, we’ll send you into a new era in 
snare drums. Play it once. You 11 never be 
satisfied with anything less, 

^ ™ » The new 

6633 N Milwaukee Ave 
Niles. Illinois 60648 



Photo by Paul Jonason 


by Susan Alexander 
Drummers milled around in¬ 
side the dark, intimate setting 
of Carmelo's Jazz Club in Van 
Nuys, California, waiting for 
the beginning of Les DeMerle's 
drum clinic. Les had flown in 
early that morning from one of 

his many engagements to do the 
clinic and concert. 

DeMerle started the after¬ 
noon clinic off with some dem¬ 
onstrations and useful tips. He 
demonstrated various combi¬ 
nations of playing with sticks 
and mallets in the same tune 

and covered such topics as odd¬ 
time playing, tuning, brush, 
mallet and stick control, solo¬ 
ing, and Latin, jazz and funk 

Les also included an audi¬ 
ence participation number; a 7/ 
4 funk with the audience clap¬ 
ping on 5, 6, and 7 and Les 
doing the rest. DeMerle de¬ 
lighted the gathering of drum¬ 
mers with his rendition of Max 
Roach's "For Big Sid." 

At the end of the clinic por¬ 
tion of the program, a snare 
drum, cymbal, two snare 
stands and two sets of Fi- 
berskyn 2 drum heads were 
given away. These prizes were 
donated by the sponsors of the 
clinic/concert: Slingerland, 
Zildjian, Remo and Profes¬ 
sional Drum Shop of Holly¬ 

The second portion of the 
program consisted of the Les 
DeMerle Sextet playing music 
from Les's new album, On Fire 

on Palo Alto Jazz. The Sextet 
consisted of such fine players as 
Don Menza on tenor saxo¬ 
phone, Ron Stout on trumpet 
and flugelhorn, Lanny Morgan 
on alto and soprano sax and 
flute, Tad Weed on piano, Rex 
Robertson on bass and Eric 
McKath, percussionist for the 
TV show, Fame. 

Slingerland's Phil Hulsey 
emceed the program. He up¬ 
dated the audience on the new 
Slingerland Magnum heavy- 
duty hardware as well as the 
new Remo pre-tuned drum 

Les played some of the exer¬ 
cises from his new book, Jazz/ 
Rock Fusion Volume II, plus 
some exercises he plans to in¬ 
corporate into his next book. 
He also spent time answering 
questions and offered to write 
down anything people wanted 
at the end of the clinic. All to¬ 
gether, the audience had a thor¬ 
oughly enjoyable time. 


Mr. Dick Harrison, presi¬ 
dent of Baldwin Piano & Organ 
Company, announced the sale 
of the Kustom/Gretsch divi¬ 
sion to its general manager, 
Charlie Roy. Mr. Harrison ex¬ 
pressed his confidence in the ac¬ 
quisition by Roy. 

Commenting on the acquisi¬ 
tion, Roy stated, "My experi¬ 
ence and association with Mr. 
Harrison and Baldwin have 

and I've enjoyed the relation¬ 
ship. I am excited about the op¬ 
portunity and challenges repre¬ 
sented by the purchase of 
Kustom/Gretsch. Continuity 
of operations is critical to our 
dealer network and I assure our 
dealers that this aspect will be 
of paramount importance to 
us. As always, our goal will be 
to produce a quality, saleable 
product that will provide musi¬ 
cians the vehicle to express their 

been extremely valuable to me musical talents." 











(516) 781-0777 (516) 493-0455 (2121 428-0500 

For further information con¬ 
tact: Mr. Charlie Roy, Kus¬ 
tom/Gretsch, 908 West Chest¬ 
nut, Chanute, KS 66720. 

continued on page 116 



Made With the Finest Persimmon Wood 
Sticks recommended by 

Send lor Free Brochure: John Crockan, J.C.’s 
Drum Shop, 7510 Be lair Rd.» Baltimore, MD 21236 



I'm ready to blow, 

my drum gloves by 



• No more $ora hands or ugly callouses. 

• Designed and manufactured by drummers for drummers. 

• Leather palm, thin enough to be touch sensitive. Actually 
Increases your grip. 

• No more sweaty hands, fully ventilated knit back for 
cool comfortable fit. Allows your hand to breathe. 

m Extremely lightweight with Velcro closure and 
elastic band for total adjustment 

• Stretch sides with elastic cuff. One size fits all 

• Available colors: Red, Slack and Brown. 


Cymbal "SHOCK ABSORBERS" or© made ot a new advanced rubber 
compound which lasts many times longer than any other existing 
cymbal sleeve. "SHOCK ABSORBERS” protect the cymbal from Impact. 
Here's How: 

The outside diameter ot the "SHOCK ABSORBER” Is the same size as the 
hole of the cymbal. As the cymbal sways, the "SHOCK ABSORBER" 
gives with the movement of the cymbal In the same way that shock 
absorbers on a car provide a smooth ride, cymbal "SHOCK ABSOR¬ 
BERS" provide a smooth crash. If more control of cymbal tilt and sway 
Is desired, tightening the wing nut uniformly expands the "SHOCK AB¬ 
SORBERS” Increasing the degree ot grip on the cymbal from the hole 
of the cymbal. 

"SHOCK ABSORBERS" provide for more cymbal control, with better 
sound and a longer life, for less money. 

CALIFORNIA or selected dealers throughout the country. 

For additional Information: RUG CADDY, P.O. Box 726, Wilmington, Ca. 90748. (213 ) 775-1513 

I rid li st ry H up pen i n)*s am limwd jrom puge 114 

The Pro-Mark 

We Promise . . , to send you one pair of our 
new, Texas-made Pro-Mark Hickory wood-tip 
drumsticks for just $2 - regular retail price of 
$6,50, (Either model 5A or Rock-747) 

You Promise * . . to tell your local 
music dealer how great our new Hickory 
sticks feel, sound and play. 

That's simple, isn't it? Send in the 
coupon with $2 and say "Howdy" to 
the best little Hickory drumsticks in 
Texas ,,. and the world! 

Here's my $2 It Pro-Mark H ickory drumsticks are 
rfS good as you say they are, I promise to tell my 
local dealer all about them 


A Pliuicinn rtf Pprrwl tnr 

A Division of Remo. Inc, 

10706 Craighead Houston. Texas 7702b 
713 666*2525 

City/ State 




Ofler good in United Slaies ooiy Expires 1 2/31/82 

Joe English carries some pretty heavy credentials. 
He also carries the Riff Rite original graphite 

Joes credentials: Paul 
McCartney and Wings, Sea 
Level. The Jam Factory, and 
now a successful solo career 
qualifies him to say this about 
Riff Rite unique drumsticks: 

' Graphite gives me a clean 
biting edge that I could not get 
with a wood stick or plastic tip. 
The balance and playability are 
given first class treatment. Their 
cork grips give me the feel and 
control I need. The playing life 
goes way beyond its wood 

Joe has gone on record as 
saying Riff Rite drumsticks are 
the best he has ever used. Hear 
Joe and Riff Rite on Refuge 
Records. Snare a pair for 
yourself, Riff Rite graphite 


Riff Rite lnc. T 6525 Morgan Avenue South, Richfield, Minnesota 55423 (612) 866-2305 


Talented percussionist Linda 
Malouf (right) eclipsed her 
mostly male counterparts and 
walked away with top honors in 
the finals of Berklee College of 
Music’s 14th Annual High 
School Jazz Ensemble Festival 
in Boston. A member of the 
Marshfield High School En¬ 
semble, which under the direc¬ 
tion of Steve Benson was Run¬ 
ner-up in the Class 1 category, 
the gifted Ms. Malouf was pre¬ 
sented a Musicianship Award 
Plaque and the First Prize tui¬ 
tion Scholarship of $2,500 for 
her outstanding performance. 
Conferring the honors is Larry 
Bethune, Awards Chairman 
and Dean of Students at 


Drummers Collective re¬ 
cently held another in a series of 
"Clinics By The Masters" fea¬ 
turing Ed Thigpen. It was the 
first time Mr. Thigpen had been 
in the U.S. in years. He is most 
noted for his long association 
with Oscar Peterson. The four- 
hour program covered jazz 
drumming from A to Z, samba 
drumming, and tips on brush 
playing. He discussed his two 
fine new books, Rhythm Analy¬ 
sis and Basic Co-ordination 
and The Sound of Brushes. The 
clinic was video taped and is 
available through the Drum¬ 
mers Collective Video Series. 
For information, contact: 
Rhythm Section Lab, 130 W. 
42nd St., Suite 948, New York, 



The new Pearl X-l 

I never leave home without it 

Mark Stevens 

As one of the most 

m _/> sought after drummers 

in the L.A. recording 
studios, Mark Stevens has performed with the 
best. From Bacharach to Streisand to Zappa. 
He needs the best equipment he can get...and 

he’s got it! Pearl. 

The Pearl X-l Snare gives Mark more snare 
control than ever before. Eight plys of select 
maple, properly vented shell, and action that’s 
smooth, even, quiet, and precise. A total package 
of super snare power. Not only can you change 
snare tension, you can actually adjust the way 
the snares lie against the snare bed. Because 
the snares evenly cover the surface of the 
head and are completely adjustable, any 
extra “buzz" is eliminated. You get just 
the amount of snare sound you need. 

Pearl’s new X-l Snare. 
We’ll take care of the action underneath 
You take care of the action on top. 



Sold in ihp U S, GxCJustvefy by (be Gibbon Division of NorJin Industries 

Sold in Canada exclusively by NUCO Musical Instruments. Ltd . Markham, Ontario 




Nuco Musical Instruments 
Ltd., Markham, Ontario, is 
pleased to introduce Thunder 
Drums from Pearl, the first 
high quality drum outfit specifi¬ 
cally sized for the pre-teen mar¬ 
ket. The 5-piece kits are good 
professional quality yet will re¬ 
tail in the $350 range. 

Thunder Drums feature a 
five and a three-piece kit. The 
five-piece outfit includes one 
10" x 16" bass drum, one 6 1/2" 
x 8" and one 6 1/2" x 10" 
tenor tom, one 10" x 12" floor 
tom, and one 6-lug snare drum. 
All drums feature multi-lami¬ 
nated shells and are fully tune¬ 
able. The kit is also fully adjust¬ 
able to grow with the young 

Included with the set is one 
hi-hat stand, one cymbal stand, 
one snare stand and a bass 

drum pedal. All hardware is 
manufactured from high qual¬ 
ity steel. To complete the set, 
one pair of 12" hi-hat cymbals, 
one 14" crash cymbal and a pair 
of hardwood sticks are in¬ 

ThunderDrums are available 
in three finishes: Jet Black, 
Pure White, and Red Flash. 
ThunderDrums are endorsed 
by Peter Magadini, well-known 
teacher and professional drum¬ 
mer. Each kit includes a volume 
of his best-selling instructional 
booklet— Learn to Play The 
Drum Set. 

For further information con¬ 

Nuco Musical Instruments 

161 Alden Road, 

MARKHAM, Ontario, 
L3R 3W7. 

"For Your Drum and Percussion Needs' 


All Major 

All Major 



S ’ 1 








50 W. Main St, Rockaway, NJ 07866 (201) 625-8134 



The widely acclaimed docu¬ 
mentary, A Different Drum¬ 
mer: Elvin Jones, is now avail¬ 
able for purchase or rental in 
various video formats. 

The twenty-eight minute film 
features Elvin's original com¬ 
position, "Three Card Molly." 
Elvin recalls how it was com¬ 
posed, demonstrates how he 
uses its melody to arrange a 
drum solo, and performs the 
piece with his quartet. Elvin il¬ 
lustrates his concepts of the 
shape and color of drum 
sounds and clarifies the com¬ 

plexity of his polyrhythmic ap¬ 

In addition, the film de¬ 
scribes his family, his roots in 
black church music, and the be¬ 
ginnings of his career in De¬ 
troit. Elvin recalls his experi¬ 
ences working with Miles 
Davis, Charles Mingus, and 
Bud Powell. He is also seen in a 
film clip playing with the leg¬ 
endary John Coltrane Quartet. 

For further information, 
contact: Edward Gray Film Li¬ 
brary, P.O. Box 315, Franklin 
Lakes, NJ 07417. 


The Quintet by Camber rep¬ 
resents a unique system com¬ 
prised of five maximum tone 
chambers. The Quintet boasts 
the increased volume and mul¬ 
tiple tonality that today's music 

Conceived and created for 
the professional percussionist, 
the Quintet offers a combina¬ 
tion of volume and tonal range. 
Each block is precision made of 
choice mahogany, oak and ma¬ 
ple and hand rubbed to a lus¬ 
trous oil finish. And th eQuintet 
is ready to be played since it fits 
any conventional accessory or 
cymbal stand. 

For more information, write: 
Camber U.S.A., 

P.O. Box 807, 
Lynbrook, NY 11563. 





continued on next page 





Simon Phillips is nil over the place these days. 
On the road with A! Di Meoia. in the_stadio 
with Jeff Beck, on video with Pete Townsend 
... another tour „ _ another session. With 
scheduling like that, ir's easy to see why Simon 
does his getting around on the strongest name 

in drums —TAMA! 

Tama drums deliver the kind of top notch, 
dependable quality, pros tike Simon demand 
from (heir equipment, no matter how tough the 
going gets. 

So. when you find your musical needs 
demanding the most, demand the best — 

i f FI 

m i 



BmnL hr 

The Strongest Name in Drums 

For a full color catalog send 52,00 to: TAMA DcjZ. MD P.G, Box 886, Bensalem. Pa. 19020 J%27 Broadway, Idaho Falls. ID. 83401 
17421 B.E, Gale Ave*, City of industry, CA 91748 * tn Canada, 6355 Park AveJMontreal P.Q. H2V4H5 

Just Drums continued from page UR 


According to Howard Chatt, 
President of Cases Inc., 
"Roadrunner cases are built to 
last and differ greatly from 
other cases by the use of extra 
touches: Roadrunner glues and 
staples all seams, uses expen¬ 
sive fiberglass, a one-piece va¬ 
lance, solid steel split rivets, 

plastic caps to cover raw edges 
of plywood partitions, special 
steel stacking type corners, and 
uses only Douglas fir plywood 
to manufacture long lasting 
Roadrunner A.T. A. cases. 

For more information: Cases 
Inc., 1745 W. 134th St., Gar¬ 
dena, CA 90249. 


Ibanez has announced the 
addition of five new micro¬ 
phones to their ever expanding 
line. The IM- 70, super cardioid 
dynamic mic', utilizes a light¬ 
weight cartridge diaphragm for 
miking drums, particularly the 
snare and mounted toms. The 
IM-76 percussion microphone 
is suited for low frequency 

drums like bass drums and floor 
toms. The IM-80 cardioid con¬ 
denser microphone is ideal for 
overhead cymbals and hi-hat. 

Write to: Hoshino U.S.A. 
Inc., 1716 Winchester Rd., PO 
Box 469, Bensalem, PA. 19020 
(215) 638-8670 in the East, or 
Chesbro Co., 327 Broadway, 
Idaho Falls, ID 83401 (208) 
522-8691 in the West. 


Yamaha Musical Products, a 
Division of Yamaha Interna¬ 
tional Corporation, announces 
the introduction of the new 
Yamaha System Drum and 
Hardware lines as means of 
more effectively promoting 
their product lines in this coun¬ 
try. Yamaha Drums has been 
divided into three distinct lines: 
The Recording Series, the Tour 
Series and the Stage Series. 
There are also three corres¬ 
ponding hardware lines: the 9 
Series, 7 Series and 5 Series. 

In line with these three new 
series, Yamaha has created a 
streamlined nomenclature 
which simplifies the process of 
ordering drum outfits for 
drummers and dealers alike. 
This system offers the drummer 
the option of designing an out¬ 
fit customized to his or her 
needs. The system consists of a 
letter and three numbers deline¬ 
ating the: (drum) shell series; 
the outfit size; the hardware se¬ 
ries; and the individual drum 

The Recording Series, re¬ 

ferred to by the prefix "R" will 
feature all-Birch laminate shells 
with high tension lugs previ¬ 
ously unavailable in this coun¬ 
try. The Tour Series, feature a 
birch/mahogany laminate shell 
construction designed for the 
widest range of professional 
applications available at a me¬ 
dian price point. The Stage Se¬ 
ries brings Yamaha's quality 
standards to the drummer at an 
affordable price. The Stage Se¬ 
ries shells are constructed of 
Phillipine mahogany. 

The third number in the sys¬ 
tem indicates the particular se¬ 
ries of hardware included with 
the kit. The system also pro¬ 
vides for those who wish to or¬ 
der outfits with no hardware. 
The last number in the system 
denotes the bass drum size 
which subsequently affects the 
size of the tom-toms and snare 
drum in that particular outfit. 

Once the drummer has se¬ 
lected the outfit of his or her 
choice, the Yamaha system per¬ 
mits them to build or add-on 
future components with ease. 

Ay® Q°* 



We've designed 

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this original t-shirt in VIVID 
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lax 17010, Dept. *03-4, Plantation, Fie. 33311 7010 

For further information contact: 
Jim Coffin, 

Yamaha Musical Products, 
P.O. Box 727, 

Grand Rapids, MI 49510. 







The Santana 
Percussion Section 

History of Rock 
Draining: Part 4 



Drumuscle. Barrels of if. 
Now you can rip, and it's 
not just’s reson¬ 
ance and tonal power that 
rolls out over the crowd like 
a burst of liquid thunder. 
Gretsch has taken the most 
unreasonable demands of 
some of the country’s lead¬ 
ing drummers and turned 
them into an explosive 
competition thumper known 
as...the power drum. Attack 
and presence are layered 
into shells that are hand- 
sanded and stressed six 
ways to eliminate dead 
spots.. .painstakingly 
finished by patient Gretsch 

craftsmen to create the ulti¬ 
mate in wood finishes. 

A lot more than that goes 
into these potent drums, but 
what comes out of them is 
a whole herd of controlled are, indeed 
in command with Gretsch 
power drums. Mount 
them on our OR series 
hardware, designed for 
extra stability, and Great 
Gretsch—you’ve got the 
hammer! Ask for the 
Gretsch power drum, and 
muscle into a 
new dimension 
of sound. / w -i -- 


KuStom/Gretsch 90S West Chestnut. Canute. Kansas 66720 (316) 431-4380 

Enclosed in a booth you hear the tracks in your cans. 
The band's pulling In the right direction. So far you've been 
laying down the basic tracks, and now ft's time for a little 
sweetening. You strengthen the groove and you bring in 
those quick chippy highs off your cymbals and start to 
savor the sound. 

Ycur Ziidjian Quick Beat Hi-Hats with a flat 4-holed bot¬ 
tom cymbal spin out a short 
tight compact sound. Incredi¬ 
bly controlled and still just 
plain Incredible. And your 
Ziidjian Thin Crash comes on 
with quick bright high-end 
accents that keep it all nice 
and tasty. 

Because we put our best 

Into a dozen Hi-Hats and 29 different Crashes, you get your 
best out of all of them. No matter how long you've been 
savoring the highs from your cymbals. Ana that same 
sharp clarity and super strength are handcrafted Into all 
120 different Ziidjian models and sizes far every kind of 
drummer in every kind of music. 

See for yourself how over 200 of the world's most 
famous performers savor the high from their Zlldjians. In our 
new Cymbal Set-Up Book, the most comprehensive refer¬ 
ence guide for drummers ever published. For your copy, 
see your Zl Idjian dealer or send us $4 to cover postage 
and handling. 


AvotU* Ziidjian Company, Cymbal Makers Smco 1623, Longwater Drive, Norwsll, MA 02061 

The only serious choice.